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Basic Information about Dementia


Posted on July 27, 2009 by Dementiaguide

The Basics about Dementia

The causes, the early signs and things to remember about dementia

Most people know very little about dementia until somebody in their family is affected by it. Learning about dementia can be daunting. Dementia is a broad term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a person's cognitive functioning. Dementia symptoms include loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions.

One misconception that many peoplehave about dementia is that it is inevitable. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Most people with dementia are older, but an important thing to know about dementia, is that most people do not get dementia when they grow older.

Basic Information about Dementia

Common forms or causes of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Huntington's disease
  • Alcohol related dementia - Korsakoff's syndrome
  • AIDS related dementia
  • Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD)
The early signs of dementia include:
  • Progressive and frequent memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Personality change
  • Apathy and withdrawal
  • Loss of ability to do everyday tasks
Things to remember about dementia:
  • Dementia describes a broad range of symptoms, such as loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions.
  • There are different forms of dementia and each has its own causes.
  • There is currently no prevention or cure for most forms of dementia; however, symptoms may be reduced with medication.

Learning about dementia is important as it affects so many people and it's so frequently misdiagnosed. It is essential that an accurate medical diagnosis is obtained at an early stage, when symptoms first appear, to make sure a person is treated correctly. Having a basic knowledge about dementia, its symptoms and early signs is the first step to understand dementia.

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Last updated August 9, 2017
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