Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Dementia - Cause

Dementia is caused by damage to or changes in the brain. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause. Stroke is the second most common cause of dementia. Dementia caused by stroke is called vascular dementia.

Some causes of dementia can be reversed with treatment, but most cannot.

Recommended Related to Alzheimer's

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease: Diagnosis & Treatment

If you think you or a loved one has signs of Alzheimer’s, see a doctor so you can know for sure. The symptoms of the disease can look a lot like those of many other conditions, including: Infections Taking medications that don’t work well together Small strokes Depression Low blood sugar Thyroid problems Brain tumors Parkinson’s disease The doctor will test you or your loved one to see if you really have Alzheimer’s. She’ll start with a physical exam and tests of your...

Read the Understanding Alzheimer's Disease: Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

Causes that cannot be reversed

Common causes of dementia that cannot be reversed are:

Less common causes of dementia that cannot be reversed include:

Causes that may be reversible

When dementia is caused by certain treatable problems, the treatment may also help the dementia. These treatable problems include:

Inherited dementia

Some disorders that cause dementia can run in families. Doctors often suspect an inherited cause if someone younger than 50 has symptoms of dementia. For more information, see the topic Alzheimer's Disease.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Remember your finger
    When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
    senior man with serious expression
    Which kinds are treatable?
    senior man
    Common symptoms to look for.
    mri scan of human brain
    Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
    eating blueberries
    Colored mri of brain
    Close up of elderly couple holding hands
    mature woman
    Woman comforting ailing mother
    Senior woman with serious expression