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
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
10 Mar 2018
Compared to triple therapy, dual antithrombotic therapy yields reduced bleeding without excess ischaemic and thromboembolic cardiac events in patients with long-term indication to chronic oral anticoagulation following percutaneous coronary intervention, according to a new study.
09 Mar 2018
Exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy, but not in infantile age, appears to carry an increased risk of developing very early onset (VEO) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children, as reported in a study from Sweden.
The total number of shockwave therapy significantly affects treatment efficacy, according to a recent study, which has shown improved sexual function in erectile dysfunction patients undergoing 12 vs 6 shockwave therapy sessions.
Pearl Toh, 6 days ago
Listening to upbeat music during an ECG treadmill stress test significantly prolongs exercise time, suggests a pilot study presented at the American College of Cardiology 2018 (ACC.18) Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, Florida, US.