Larson, Eric B. Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:May 2021
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- Alzheimer's disease
- Pathophysiology and diagnosis
- Other dementia subtypes
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A syndrome characterized by a generalized decline in cognition that is severe enough to cause functional impairment in daily activities. Dementia is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms of severe cognitive decline. Individuals suffering from this disorder typically have profound impairments in cognition and behavior, along with notable neuropathologic changes in the brain (Fig. 1). A variety of conditions common in late life can cause dementia, including vascular diseases or strokes, Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease (dementia associated with abnormal brain cell structures called Lewy bodies), alcoholism, and Alzheimer's disease (which is, by far, the most common cause of dementia). See also: Aging; Alcoholism; Alzheimer's disease; Brain; Cognition; Mental disorders; Parkinson's disease
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