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Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a condition that causes loss of memory, thought control, and judgment. Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other common causes are loss of blood flow or nerve damage in the brain, and long-term alcohol or drug use. Dementia cannot be cured or prevented, but treatment may slow or reduce your symptoms.

What increases my risk for dementia?

What are the signs and symptoms of dementia?

Dementia may develop quickly over a few months after a head injury or stroke. It may develop slowly over many years if you have Alzheimer disease. Your memory and other mental abilities may decline steadily. They may stay the same for a time and then decline again. You may have any of the following:

How is dementia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you or someone close to you about your symptoms. He or she will ask when your symptoms began, and if they have gotten worse with time. He or she may also ask if you have any family members with dementia.

How is dementia treated?

The goal of treatment is to help you keep your current health for as long as possible. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage dementia?

You may begin to need an in-home aide to help you remember your daily tasks. Ask your healthcare provider for a list of organizations that can help. It is best to arrange for help while you are thinking clearly. The following may also help you manage dementia:

When should I or someone close to me seek immediate care?

When should I or someone close to me call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.