- 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, and insight
- Praxis—learned motor skills
|Some Areas of the Brain Affected by Dementia|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Alzheimer's dementia (most common)
- Brain damage after multiple small strokes—also called vascular dementia
- Lewy body disease
- Alcohol use disorder
- 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- Being withdrawn, losing interest in usual activities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
- 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
- Eating a healthful 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 healthful 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
Alzheimer Society Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca
Toronto Dementia Network http://www.dementiatoronto.org
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 29, 2015. Accessed August 28, 2015.
Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet. Updated August 12, 2015. Accessed August 28, 2015.
Alzheimer's disease and non-Alzheimer’s dementia. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated May 4, 2015. Accessed August 28, 2015.
DeKosky S, Jeff D, Williamson A, et al. Ginkgo biloba for prevention of dementia: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008;300(19):2253-2262.
Dementia evaluation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 29, 2014. Accessed August 28, 2015.
Gidoni R, Benussi L, Paterlini A, Albertini V, Binetti G, Emanuele E. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease: The present and the future. Neurodegen Dis. 2011;8(6):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(7512):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 Ment Health. 2007;11(3):330-338.
Marjoribanks J, Farquhar C, Roberts H, Lethaby A. Long term hormone therapy for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;7:CD004143.
Middleton LE, Yaffe K. Promising strategies for the prevention of dementia. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(10):1210-1215.
O'Brien JT, Colloby S, Fenwick J, et al. Dopamine transporter loss visualized with FP-CIT SPECT in the differential diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(6):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(15):1934-1943.
2/24/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;1:CD003120.
9/18/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: 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(7):542-555.
1/8/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Snitz BE, O'Meara ES, Carlson MC, et al. Ginkgo biloba for preventing cognitive decline in older adults: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2009;302(24):2663-2670.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/28/2015 -