Elsewhere on the Site

Benefits of Caregiving for Someone With Alzheimer's(Caregiving)

When One Partner of a Couple Has Dementia  (Caregiving)

                                                                         Dementia Directory

Aging and Memory Impairment


Dementia and Sexual Relationships


Memory Loss Aging and Dementia

Reporting Memory Loss

Signs and Symptoms

Wandering Behavior


Dementia is the loss of intellectual functions such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning which is severe enough to interfere with a person's abillity to function. It is not a disease but symptoms whch are part of various diseases. Some will be listed below.

All persons who experience memory loss or confusion should undergo a thorough diagnostic workup. This requires an examination by a physician who is experienced in the diagnosis of dementing disorders, neurological and laboratory testing, a re-evaluation of all medications, a psycho-social history, contact and review with family, and more. This can help the individual obtain treatment for reversible conditions and aid in planning for the future.

Dementia may be found in the following:

1. Alzheimer's Disease

A progressive degenerative disease which attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior.

2. Multi-Infarct Dementia(Vascular Dementia)

A deterioration of mental capabilities caused by multiple strokes(infarcts) in the brain.

3. Parkinson's Disease

A progressive disorder of the central nervous system. These individuals lack the substance dopamine which is critical for the central nervous syatem's control of muscle activity.

4. Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease

A rare, fatal brain disorder caused by a transmissible infectious organism.

5. Picks Disease

A rare brain disorder.

6. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

An uncommon disorder which involves an obstruction in the normal flow of cerebospinal fluid and which causes a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain.

7. Huntington's Disease

An inherited and degenerative brain disease which affects the mind and the body.

Other diseases which may cause or mimic dementia include:

  • Depression
  • Brain tumors
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Head injuries
  • Infections including AIDS, menegitis and syphillis.
  • Drug reactions
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hydrocephalus