Neuroimaging Studies of the Dwindling Self: Neurodegenerative Dementias

  • Andrea Nani
  • Andrea E. Cavanna


The term dementia was first introduced in the medical literature by the Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus in his treatise De Medicina (20 AD) to indicate a generic pattern of alterations of intelligence and behavior. Until the eighteenth century, however, the term dementia was commonly used as a synonym of madness. In 1838 French psychiatrist Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol first distinguished dementia – defined as an acquired process characterized by loss of memory, ability to judge, and attention – from congenital mental deficit. At present, according to DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-tr: ­diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th ed, text revision. American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC, 2000), the essential characteristics of dementia include impairment in memory, plus at least in one other cognitive function (language, visuospatial skills, etc.), as well as substantial disturbance of work or social functioning resulting from cognitive deficits. These features should not occur as isolated features of delirium. Nonetheless, from a clinical point of view, the term dementia has to be considered a multifaceted syndrome rather than a single disease.


Mild Cognitive Impairment Lewy Body Dementia With Lewy Body Neuronal Cytoplasmic Inclusion Salience Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michael Trimble Neuropsychiatry Research GroupBSMHFT and University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of Neuropsychiatry, Michael Trimble Neuropsychiatry Research GroupBSMHFT and University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  3. 3.Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement DisordersUCL and Institute of NeurologyLondonUK

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