Dementia is a term used to describe a loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to impact everyday life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is not a single disease, but an overall term – like heart disease – that covers a range of medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s.
Early symptoms include persistent memory loss and difficulty completing simple tasks, such as recording a TV show. If you have questions or concerns about symptoms, call your doctor. Dementia is typically diagnosed by a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or geriatrician. Neurologists and neuropsychiatrists deal with brain or cognitive (mental) function; a geriatrician specializes in the care of the elderly.