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Dementia is not a specific disease. Instead, it is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. Usual causes include Alzheimer's disease, stroke, brain tumors, Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Pick's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. Patients with dementia may show symptoms as progressively memory loss, difficulty communicating, difficulty reading or writing, difficulty with performing tasks that take some thought, difficulty with coordination and motor functions, withdrawing from social contact, personality changes or inappropriate behavior. A mental status examination can be used to assess patients' mental function, including language function, motor activity function, recognition function and executive function. Treatments of dementia include therapeutic schedule for the underlying causes and medications to improve symptoms and slow the progression. There is no preventable measurement for most cases of dementia. When dementia occurs, it usually developes progressively and often decreases patients' quality of life and lifespan.

What are the symptoms?

  • Dementia symptoms include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including:
  1. Language
  2. Memory
  3. Perception
  4. Emotional behavior or personality
  5. Cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thinking, or judgment)
  • Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness.
  1. Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the development of dementia.
  • The early symptoms of dementia can include:
  1. Language problems, such as trouble finding the name of familiar objects
  2. Misplacing items
  3. Getting lost on familiar routes
  4. Personality changes and loss of social skills
  5. Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed, flat mood
  6. Difficulty performing tasks that take some thought, but that used to come easily, such as balancing a checkbook, playing games (such as bridge), and learning new information or routines
  • As the dementia becomes worse, symptoms are more obvious and interfere with the ability to take care of yourself. The symptoms may include:
  1. Forgetting details about current events
  2. Forgetting events in your own life history, losing awareness of who you are
  3. Change in sleep patterns, often waking up at night
  4. More difficulty reading or writing
  5. Poor judgment and loss of ability to recognize danger
  6. Using the wrong word, not pronouncing words correctly, speaking in confusing sentences
  7. Withdrawing from social contact
  8. Having hallucinations, arguments, striking out, and violent behavior
  9. Having delusions, depression, [Agitation (patient information)
Links (patient information)