Definitions

Normal Age-Associated Memory Loss

  • Slowdown of the ability to process new information (e.g., learn a new card game
  • Slowdown of short-term memory (e.g., where did I put my keys, glasses?)
  • Slowdown of search and retrieval functions (e.g., forgetting names, words

Dementia

• The loss of cognitive or intellectual function, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning, so severe that it interferes with a person’s daily functioning and everyday life
• Not a disease in itself, but a group of symptoms that accompanies certain diseases or physical conditions
• Symptoms include poor judgment, disorientation, short attention span
• More than 50 different types of dementia exist, 15-20% are treatable, so it is important to get a comprehensive clinical assessment

Treatable Dementia (or “Pseudo-dementia”)

•Depression
•Alcoholism
•Drug reactions
•Thyroid disorders (or other metabolic)
•Nutritional deficiencies
•Brain tumors
•Head injuries
•Infections (e.g., AIDS, meningitis, UTI)
•Grief reactions
•Vision and hearing loss
•Fatigue

Causes of Progressive Dementia

(links to definitions)

Alzheimer’s Disease

Multi-infarct dementia / vascular dementia

Parkinson’s disease

Lewy Body disease

Huntington’s disease

Pick’s disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalu