Dementia is a term that describes the decline in cognitive function, such as memory loss or difficulty with problem-solving, that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia, including vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.

Types of Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Vascular
  • Lewy Body
  • Frontotemporal
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Other
  • Mixed dementia

Learn About Alzheimer's

60-80% of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Early warning signs of dementia can include forgetfulness, difficulty with planning or problem-solving, confusion with time or place, difficulty with language or communication, struggling to complete usual tasks and changes in mood or personality.

Diagnosis & Treatment

There is no single test for diagnosing dementia, but health care providers may use a combination of physical exams, labs, memory tests and medical history to make a diagnosis for an individual showing early signs.

Dementia does not yet have a cure, but there are prescription medications that can slow the development of symptoms and their cognitive decline, improving the quality of life. Other non-drug treatments that can reduce symptoms may include therapy, lifestyle changes and support from caregivers and loved ones.

Risk Factors

Cognitive decline cases do not occur as a natural part of aging, though age is a common risk factor. Other factors can increase the risk as well, such as a family history of dementia, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and a history of head injuries.

Risk factors like aging, genetics and family history cannot be prevented, but there are methods to help reduce the likelihood of developing dementia, including picking up healthy lifestyle choices such as eating well, participating in regular physical activity, cognitive stimulation and not smoking.