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ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND DEMENTIA
Dementia is a clinical syndrome characterized by impairment of multiple higher cortical functions that include memory, orientation, thinking, comprehension, calculation, capacity for learning, language, judgment,  executive function and visuo-spatial function. It is usually accompanied or preceded by deterioration in emotional control, social behavior or motivation.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Sporadic cases usually present after >60 year while familial types are rare and present in <60 year of age (early-onset dementia).
Short-term memory loss is the most common early symptom. Other spheres of cognitive impairment manifest after several years.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Amnestic disorder
  • Age-related memory impairment
  • Delirium
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
    • Patients with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk of developing dementia
    • Considered as a transition between aging and dementia, wherein cognitive impairment is present but function is intact
    • Encourage these patients to return for re-evaluation in 6-12 months
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