Dementia is an overall term for symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, changes in mood or behaviour severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is progressive as symptoms get worse due to damaged brain cells that eventually die.
Dementia is not a specific disease. Many diseases can cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia (due to strokes), Lewy Body Dementia, fronto-temporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. These conditions can have similar and overlapping symptoms. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders, or mental illness can produce symptoms like dementia. (1)