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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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What Is Dementia?

Are There Treatments for Dementia? continued...

Causes of dementia that may be reversible include:

These forms of dementia are partially manageable, but they aren't reversible and get worse over time:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia from Parkinson's disease and similar disorders
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Frontotemporal dementia (Pick's disease)
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

What Are the Stages of Dementia?

Usually, dementia goes through these stages. But it may vary depending on the area of the brain that is affected.

1) No impairment: Someone at this stage will show no symptoms, but tests may reveal a problem.

2) Very mild decline: You may notice slight changes in behavior, but your loved one will still be independent.

3) Mild decline: You'll notice more changes in his thinking and reasoning. He may have trouble making plans, and he may repeat himself a lot. He may also have a hard time remembering recent events.

4) Moderate decline: He'll have more problems with making plans and remembering recent events. He may have a hard time with traveling and handling money.

5) Moderately severe decline: He may not remember his phone number or his grandchildren's names.He may be confused about the time of day or day of the week. At this point, he will need assistance with some basic day-to-day functions, such as picking out clothes to wear.

6) Severe decline: He'll begin to forget the name of his spouse. He'll need help going to the restroom and eating. You may also see changes in his personality and emotions.

7) Very severe decline: He can no longer speak this thoughts. He can't walk and will spend most of his time in bed.

How Common Is Dementia?

About 5% to 8% of adults over age 65 have some form of dementia. This percentage doubles every 5 years after 65. As many as half of people in their 80s have some dementia.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on December 22, 2015
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