Dementia is a group of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines dementia as:
“… [A] word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.”
The hallmark of dementia is the inability to carry out everyday activities as a consequence of diminished cognitive ability.
Doctors diagnose dementia if two or more cognitive functions are significantly impaired. The cognitive functions affected can include:
memory, language skills, understanding of information spatial skills and judgement attention.
What Causes Dementia?
Dementia has many forms and a variety of causes including various diseases and infections, strokes, head injuries, drugs, alcohol abuse and nutritional deficiencies.
A great deal of progress has been made in dementia research, but scientists still do not understand all of the causes of dementia. Below, you’ll find some of the known and suspected causes of some common types of dementia.
Dementia can be caused by degeneration of neurons (brain cells), or by disturbances in other body systems that affect how neurons function.
Neurodegenerative means that neurons gradually degenerate (cease to function or function inappropriately and eventually die). This impacts the neuron-to-neuron connections, called synapses, which are how messages are passed along in your brain. This “disconnect” can result in a range of dysfunction.
For more information on causes for particular types Click Here