Short Description or Definition
Dementia is an acquired syndrome consisting of impairment in multiple areas of cognition such as memory, perception, language, executive function, calculation ability, praxis, semantic knowledge, and personality or social behavior (Mendez & Cummings, 2003). Although most definitions recognize memory impairment as the cardinal feature, they are unsuitable for dementing illnesses where other symptoms predominate. To address this concern, many classification systems attempt to provide criteria for specific types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and others. To meet criteria for dementia, the impairments must not occur exclusively in the context of a delirium, and must represent a decline from previously higher levels of functioning. Additionally, the impairments must be of sufficient severity to cause impairment in social or occupational functioning. Senile dementia generally refers...