Dementia refers to a group of neurodegenerative brain disorders that can occur for a variety of reasons and that are generally progressive and incurable. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and like other forms, is characterized by specific changes in the brain, as well as noticeable symptoms like memory loss, confusion, and changes in behavior. Each form of dementia has a different underlying cause in the brain. Diagnostic protocols can help to distinguish which type of dementia a specific patient may have, as well as to rule out other conditions that could lead to symptoms that resemble dementia.
Certain types of dementia, like those caused by injury or toxicity, can be reversed. Most forms of dementia can be treated, but the treatments address only the symptoms of dementia and not their underlying causes, limiting the positive impact of those interventions. Behavioral tasks that involve the repetition of certain tasks have been shown to help those with dementia cope with their condition by improving their performance in certain areas critical to their daily life.
There is currently a significant amount of research being conducted to better understand dementia, its causes, and potential treatments.
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