Dementia is a condition that affects memory, thinking, language, judgement, and behavior. Dementia by itself is not a single disease but spans a number of different sub-types including: chronic brain syndrome, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
While it is common in elderly individuals, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. And though memory loss is common in the elderly, it by itself is not an indicator of dementia.
A diagnosis of dementia occurs when two or more brain functions, such as memory and language skills, are significantly impaired without loss of consciousness.
Some causes of dementia may be stopped or reversed if detected early, including brain tumors, changes in blood sugar, sodium, and calcium levels, low vitamin B12 levels, normal pressure hydrocephalus, some cholesterol-lowering medications and chronic alcohol abuse.
The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms.