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What is dementia?

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Dementia is a group of symptoms involving cognitive degeneration. Memory loss, a loss of thinking skills, and other cognitive impairments are examples of symptoms of dementia. The two most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer's disease and stroke, which can lead to vascular dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

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Dementia is a neurological condition that affects the brain. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia and can lead to mood issues; personality changes; confusion; linguistic problems, such as difficulty reading or writing; memory problems; and lapses in judgement, according to WebMD.

Memory loss is a primary symptom of dementia, but not all memory loss in the elderly is due to dementia, explains the Mayo Clinic. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, dementia may also include difficulty reasoning, inappropriate behavior, difficulty performing complex tasks, poor motor functioning and psychological problems such as psychosis, mood disorders and agitation.

Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are not the only types of dementia; Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia involve many of the same symptoms. There are other conditions linked to dementia as well. Huntington's disease, traumatic brain injuries, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Parkinson's disease are known to lead to symptoms of dementia. Some cases of dementia are reversible, while others are not. The prognosis of dementia is generally related to the root cause of the condition, notes Mayo Clinic.

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