Dementia is a general term for symptoms affecting memory, communication, and thinking. It is caused by different diseases that damage the brain. Dementia increases with age, but it is not a normal part of aging. Dementia symptoms are usually progressive, relatively mild at first and get worse over time. There are many types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. The next most common is vascular dementia.

Symptoms of Dementia

Different types of dementia affect people differently, especially in the early stages. Common symptoms of dementia include:

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Memory loss -especially problems recalling things that happened recently

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Difficulty concentrating, planning or organizing problems with language and communication

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Misunderstanding what is being seen, problems judging distances being confused about time or place confusion and needing help with daily tasks

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Mood changes or difficulty controlling emotions personality and behavioral, changes sleep disturbances, changes in social awareness, obsessive tendencies, some types of dementia may have hallucinations or delusions

When to see a doctor

When dementia symptoms lead to increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning or changes in personality and mood or with periods of mental confusion.

When to get emergency help

If positive symptoms of hallucination or delusion in some type of dementia is out of control or leads to self harm behavior, emergency help is required.


Diagnosis and type determination of dementia based on medical history taking, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Cognitive – neuropsychological tests and some brain imagings might be evaluated.

The cooperation of the diagnostic team include neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist or geriatrician is needed to rule out Dementia-like symptoms that caused by other conditions, such as alcohol-related brain damage, mild cognitive impairment, and functional cognitive decline.


Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. It is not yet possible to reverse brain cell death; thus, there is currently no cure for most types of dementia, but medications, together with other therapies, e.g., occupational therapy, environment modification, and music therapy, can slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life.