Dementia is a medical term used to describe a set of symptoms causing a decline in cognitive function severe enough to affect daily living. Symptoms are typically caused by a disease, or condition. Following are the most common symptoms of dementia:
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Difficulty with verbal or written communication
- Disorientation to time and place
- Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
- Difficulty with problem solving and abstract thinking
- Personality changes
Problems with two or more brain functions such as memory loss along with language changes is considered to be dementia.
Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. Unlike normal age-related memory changes, dementia gets worse over time. Many diseases and disorders can cause dementia. Some can be reversed or cured and others cannot.
The most common irreversible cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Other common causes of dementia are:
- Dementia with Lewy bodies,
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Vascular dementia (also called multi-infarct dementia)
Some dementia symptoms are reversible; including those caused by brain tumors, chronic alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, medication mismanagement and depression.
If you have questions, the Alliance can assist with issues such as treatment, management of symptoms, coping with a diagnosis, and local resources. Call us at 608.232.3400, 888.308.6251 or send us an email.