Dementia is a syndrome characterised by an appreciable deterioration in cognition resulting in behavioural problems and impairment in the activities of daily living. Decline in cognition is extensive, often affecting multiple domains of intellectual functioning. The most common causes of dementia are degenerative or vascular; other causes include infection, inflammatory diseases, neoplasm, toxic insults, metabolic disorders, or trauma. It is important to consider potentially reversible conditions during diagnosis. A number of conditions can present in a similar way to dementia syndrome and need to be considered during the evaluation. These include mild cognitive impairment (MCI), delirium, depression, amnesic syndromes, aphasia, or normal ageing.
Log into BMJ Best Practice with your Athens account to view a wide range of topics, their conditions, diagnosis, treatment and evidence: