What is Dementia?

Beyond Simple Aging

Dementia is a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in mental ability severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Know the Signs

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility,” but this serious mental decline is more than just a normal part of aging. While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:

  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception

If you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause.

Our team can provide a professional evaluation that may detect a treatable condition. And even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows you to get the maximum benefit from available treatments and provides an opportunity to participate in clinical trials or studies. We are here to provide you with information about clinical trials and help you maintain a level of independence.

North Texas Researchers Working Towards Alzheimer’s Cure