- Memory problems
Mental loss that is severe enough to cause problems with one or more of the following:
- Visuospatial function
- Executive function (foresight, planning, anticipation, insight)
- Praxis (learned motor skills)
|Some Areas of the Brain Affected by Dementia|
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- Alzheimer's disease —the most common cause of dementia
- Brain damage after multiple small strokes (also called vascular dementia)
- Lewy body disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Huntington's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion disorders
- Front-temporal dementia (including Pick's disease)
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Untreated syphilis
- Toxic levels of metals, such as aluminum, which can sometimes occur in people who have dialysis treatment
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Thiamine deficiency
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Family members with dementia
- Down syndrome
- Apolipoprotein E status (a genetic risk)
- Elevated cholesterol
- Multiple strokes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Lack of physical activity
- Vitamin deficiency
- Chronic drug use
- Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
- Repetitive head trauma (may occur with contact sports)
- Overweight or obese
Increasing trouble remembering things, such as:
- How to get to familiar locations
- What the names of family and friends are
- Where common objects are usually kept
- How to do simple math
- How to do usual tasks, such as cooking, dressing, or bathing
- How to drive
- How to pay bills
- Having difficulty concentrating on tasks
- Having difficulty completing sentences due to lost/forgotten words (may continue to a complete inability to speak)
- Forgetting the date, time of day, season
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings
- Being withdrawn, losing interest in usual activities
- Having mood swings
- Having personality changes
- Walking in a slow, shuffling way
- Having poor coordination
- Losing purposeful movement
- An extensive medical history from you and your family
- Observing your behavior
- A physical exam
- Tests for your nervous system
- Mental status and psychological tests
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture —a test of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)—a test that records the brain's electrical activity
- Cholinesterase inhibitors
- N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists
- Keeping you safe in your home
- Providing a calm, quiet, predictable environment
- Providing appropriate eyewear and hearing aids, easy-to-read clocks, and calendars
- Participating in music therapy and/or dance therapy
- Participating in physical and occupational therapy for daily activities
- Encouraging light exercise to reduce agitation and relieve depression
- Eating a healthy diet
- Discussing healthcare wishes with family members and doctors and appointing a healthcare proxy and a legal power of attorney
- Antianxiety medications
- Mood stabilizers
- Eat a healthy diet . This will help you to maintain good levels of vitamin B12 and cholesterol.
- Exercise regularly . This can also enhance cardiovascular health, which may delay the onset of vascular dementia.
- Alcohol may have some benefits if you use it in moderation. This means no more than two drinks per day for a man, and one drink per day for a woman. Moderate amounts of alcohol may decrease your risk of dementia. Higher amounts of alcohol however, can increase your risk of dementia.
- Engage in mentally stimulating activity. This may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease .
Alzheimer's Association http://www.alz.org
American Academy of Neurology http://www.aan.com
Alzheimers Association of Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca
Toronto Dementia Network http://www.dementiatoronto.org
Alzheimer's disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 19, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet . Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
Alzheimer's disease and non-Alzheimer’s dementia. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary . Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
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Cecil RL, Goldman L, Bennett JC. Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
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Dementia evaluation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 14, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
American Academy of Neurology website. Available at: http://patients.aan.com/disorders/index.cfm?event=viewampdisorder%5Fid=844 . Accessed August 22, 2012.
Gidoni R, et al. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease: the present and the future. Neurodegen Dis. 2011;8:413-20.
Kaduszkiewicz H, Zimmermann T, Beck-Bornholdt HP, van den Bussche H. Cholinesterase inhibitors for patients with Alzheimer's disease: systematic review of randomized clinical trials. BMJ. 2005;331:321-327.
Ledger AJ & Baker FA. An investigation of long-term effects of group music therapy on agitation levels of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Aging & Mental Health. 2007;11: 330-338.
Mendez MF, Cummings JL. Dementia: A clinical Approach . 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Butterworth Heinemann; 2003.
Middleton LE, Yaffe K. Promising strategies for the prevention of dementia. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(10):1210-1215.
Obrien JT, et al. Dopamine transporter loss visualized with FP-CIT SPECT in the differential diagnosis of dementia with Lewy Bodies. Arch Neurol . 2004; 61: 919-925.
Schneider L, Dagerman K, Insel P. Risk of death with atypical antipsychotic drug treatment for dementia: meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. JAMA. 2005;294:1934-1943.
Tierney L. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment . 44th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005.
12/16/2008 2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Farquhar C, Marjoribanks J, Lethaby A, Suckling J, Lamberts Q. Long term hormone therapy for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;CD004143.
2/24/2009 2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;CD003120.
9/18/2009 2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Anstey KJ, Mack HA, Cherbuin N. Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline: meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;17:542-555.
1/8/2010 2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Snitz BE, O'Meara ES, Carlson MC, et al. Ginkgo biloba for preventing cognitive decline in older adults: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2009;302:2663-2670.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -