by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Dementia is a loss in mental skills, such as the ability to think, reason, learn, and understand. It causes problems with day-to-day tasks and self care.
Many health problems can be a cause. Some common ones are:
It is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Symptoms start slowly and get worse with time. They may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health past. A physical exam will be done. Tests on memory, thought processes, and nervous system will also be done. Images of the brain may be taken with:
There is no cure. The goal is to manage it. This can be done with medicines, such as:
These changes may also be helpful:
The exact cause of dementia is not known. General tips for brain health include:
Alzheimer Society Canada
Toronto Dementia Network
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alzheimer-dementia. Accessed October 14, 2020.
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. Accessed October 14, 2020.
Dementia evaluation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/evaluation/dementia-evaluation. Accessed October 14, 2020.
Moga DC, Roberts M, et al. Dementia for the Primary Care Provider. Prim Care. 2017 Sep;44(3):439-456.
Last reviewed October 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 12/18/2020
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