Symptom: Dementia Overview

    Dementia is a decline or loss of reasoning, memory, and other mental abilities (the cognitive functions such as judgment, thinking, behavior, and language). This decline eventually impairs the ability to carry out everyday activities such as driving; household chores; and even personal care such as bathing, dressing, and feeding (often called activities of daily living, or ADLs).
  • Dementia is most common in elderly people; it used to be called senility and was considered a normal part of aging.
  • We now know that dementia is not a normal part of aging but is caused by a number of underlying medical conditions that can occur in both elderly and younger persons.
  • In some cases, dementia can be reversed with proper medical treatment. In others, it is permanent and usually gets worse over time.
  • About 4 to 5 million people in the United States have some degree of dementia, and that number will increase over the next few decades with the aging of the population; the following percentages are estimates and all forms of dementia are considered in these estimates:
  • Dementia affects about 1% of people aged 60 to 64 years and as many as 30% to 50% of people older than 85 years.
  • It is the leading reason for placing elderly people in institutions such as nursing homes.
  • Dementia is a very serious condition that results in significant financial and human costs.
  • Many people with dementia eventually become totally dependent on others for their care.
  • Although people with dementia typically remain fully conscious, the loss of short- and long-term memory in part or in full, are universal.
  • People with dementia also experience declines in any or all areas of intellectual functioning, for example, use of language and numbers; awareness of what is going on around him or her; judgment; and the ability to reason, solve problems, and think abstractly.
  • These losses not only impair a person's ability to function independently, but also have a negative impact on quality of life and relationships.
  • Many older people fear that they are developing dementia because they cannot find their glasses or remember someone's name.
  • These very common problems are most often due to a much less serious condition involving slowing of mental processes with age.
  • Medical professionals call this "benign senescent forgetfulness," or "age-related memory loss."
  • Although this condition is a nuisance, it does not impair a person's ability to learn new information, solve problems, or carry out everyday activities, as dementia does.

    Source: http://www.emedicinehealth.com

  • Dementia is a decline or loss of reasoning, memory, and other mental abilities (the cognitive functions such as judgment, thinking, behavior, and language). This decline eventually impairs the ability to carry out everyday activities such as driving; household chores; and even personal care such as bathing, dressing, and feeding (often called activities of daily living, or ADLs).
    • Dementia is most common in elderly people; it used to be called senility and was considered a normal part of aging.
    • We now know that dementia is not a normal part of aging but is caused by a number of underlying medical conditions that can occur in both elderly and younger persons.
    • In some cases, dementia can be reversed with proper medical treatment. In others, it is permanent and usually gets worse over time.
    About 4 to 5 million people in the United States have some degree of dementia, and that number will increase over the next few decades with the aging of the population; the following percentages are estimates and all forms of dementia are considered in these estimates:
    • Dementia affects about 1% of people aged 60 to 64 years and as many as 30% to 50% of people older than 85 years.
    • It is the leading reason for placing elderly people in institutions such as nursing homes.
    Dementia is a very serious condition that results in significant financial and human costs.
    • Many people with dementia eventually become totally dependent on others for their care.
    • Although people with dementia typically remain fully conscious, the loss of short- and long-term memory in part or in full, are universal.
    • People with dementia also experience declines in any or all areas of intellectual functioning, for example, use of language and numbers; awareness of what is going on around him or her; judgment; and the ability to reason, solve problems, and think abstractly.
    • These losses not only impair a person's ability to function independently, but also have a negative impact on quality of life and relationships.
    Many older people fear that they are developing dementia because they cannot find their glasses or remember someone's name.
    • These very common problems are most often due to a much less serious condition involving slowing of mental processes with age.
    • Medical professionals call this "benign senescent forgetfulness," or "age-related memory loss."
    • Although this condition is a nuisance, it does not impair a person's ability to learn new information, solve problems, or carry out everyday activities, as dementia does.

      Source: http://www.emedicinehealth.com

    1 23...Next»(Page 1 of 13)GlossaryDementia Overview Topic Guide YOU MAY ALSO LIKE VIEW Dementia Pictures: Disorders of the Brain Must Read Articles Related to Dementia Overview Alzheimer Disease Alzheimer's disease (AZ) is the most common cause of dementia in industrialized nations. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are sublte at the beginning, and ov...learn more >> Alzheimer's Disease FAQs Alzheimer's disease is a fatal brain disorder. Familial and sporadic are the two types of Alzheimer's disease. The three stages include early, intermediate, and...learn more >> Alzheimer's Disease Stages: Symptoms and Signs Alzheimer's disease is one of the many causes of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease typically progress over a period of years. There are warning signs of...learn more >> See the Entire Dementia Overview Topic Guide » Patient Comments & Reviews The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Dementia: Dementia - Medications What medications are you taking for dementia? Are they helping? Share Your Story Dementia - Test What kind of tests did you have to diagnose dementia? Share Your Story Dementia - Treatment What kind of treatment are you receiving for dementia? Share Your Story Dementia Overview - Symptoms What are the symptoms of your dementia? 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