Dementia refers to a loss of cognitive functioning, including reasoning, thinking, and memory that interferes with daily life. Dementia comes in many forms but the most common is Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.
Alzheimer’s is characterized by the death of brain cells that causes difficulty speaking and walking, confusion, mood changes, behavioral changes, severe memory impairment, and other symptoms as it progresses. The next most common form of dementia is called vascular dementia which happens when reduced blood flow to the brain is caused due to age, heart disease, or stroke. Several diseases may even cause dementia in the late stages such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Dementia is a chronic and progressive disease that typically progresses through several stages. These stages can aid in diagnosis and treatment while giving caregivers and loved ones a better understanding of what to expect.