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What is Dementia?


Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in cognitive function that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life. It is not a specific disease, but rather a syndrome or a set of symptoms associated with various underlying causes. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are many other conditions that can lead to dementia, including:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: This is the most common cause of dementia. It involves the accumulation of abnormal ‘protein’ deposits in the brain, which leads to the death of brain cells and a progressive decline in cognitive function.
  • Vascular Dementia: This type of dementia is caused by problems with blood circulation to the brain, often due to stroke or small vessel disease. The symptoms can be sudden or develop gradually.
  • Lewy Body Dementia: This type of dementia is characterized by the presence of abnormal ‘protein’ deposits called Lewy bodies in the brain. It can lead to a range of cognitive, motor, and psychiatric symptoms.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia: This type of dementia primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to changes in behaviour, personality, and language.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: This is a rare and rapidly progressing form of dementia caused by abnormal ‘proteins’ called prions.
  • Huntington’s Disease: This is a genetic disorder that leads to the degeneration of certain brain cells and results in cognitive decline, motor problems, and psychiatric symptoms.
  • Mixed Dementia: Some individuals may have a combination of different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
  • Dementia can result in a range of cognitive and behavioural symptoms, including memory loss, difficulty with language and communication, impaired judgment, changes in personality and behaviour, and a decline in the ability to perform everyday tasks. The exact symptoms and progression of dementia can vary depending on the underlying cause.

    It’s important to note that dementia is different from normal age-related cognitive changes. While dementia is often associated with older adults, it is not a normal part of aging.

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