Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.
1. Progressive Dementias2. Reversible Dementias
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and dies. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.
The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks.
Current Alzheimer's disease medications may temporarily improve symptoms or slow the rate of decline. These treatments can sometimes help people with Alzheimer's disease maximize function and maintain independence for a time. There is no treatment that cures Alzheimer's disease or alters the disease process in the brain.