dementia

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dementia

(dĭmĕn`shə) [Lat.,=being out of the mind], progressive deterioration of intellectual faculties resulting in apathy, confusion, and stupor. In the 17th cent. the term was synonymous with insanityinsanity,
mental disorder of such severity as to render its victim incapable of managing his affairs or of conforming to social standards. Today, the term insanity is used chiefly in criminal law, to denote mental aberrations or defects that may relieve a person from the legal
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, and the term dementia praecox was used in the 19th cent. to describe the condition now known as schizophreniaschizophrenia
, group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. Because there is often little or no logical relationship between the thoughts and feelings of a person with schizophrenia, the disorder has
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. In recent years, the term has generally been used to describe various conditions of mental deterioration occurring in middle to later life. Dementia, in its contemporary usage, is an irreversible condition, and is not applied to states of mental deterioration that may be overcome, such as delirium. The condition is generally caused by deterioration of brain tissue, though it can occassionally be traced to deterioration of the circulatory system. Major characteristics include short- and long-term memory loss, impaired judgement, slovenly appearance, and poor hygiene. Dementia disrupts personal relationships and the ability to function occupationally. Senility (senile dementia) in old age is the most commonly recognized form of dementia, usually occurring after the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease can begin at a younger age, and deterioration of the brain tissue tends to happen much more quickly. Frontotemporal dementia, resulting from the atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, is the most common form of dementia, however, in persons under the age of 60. It was formerly known as Pick's disease; that term is now reserved for a specific subtype of frontotemporal dementia. Individuals who have experienced cerebrovascular disease (particularly strokes) may develop similar brain tissue deterioration, with symptoms similar to various forms of dementia. Other diseases that cause dementia include Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. Some forms of familial Alzheimer's disease are caused by specific dominant gene mutations.

Bibliography

See L. L. Heston and J. White, The Vanishing Mind (1991).

Dementia

 

irreversible deterioration of mental activity, manifested mainly by a decreased ability to acquire knowledge, loss of previously acquired knowledge, emotional apathy, and behavioral changes.

Dementia may be congenital (oligophrenia) or acquired. The concept of dementia usually refers to acquired dementia, that is, dementia resulting from mental disease. Clinically, dementia may be total or partial. Total dementia is characterized by an impairment of the ability to make judgments and arrive at conclusions, a sharply decreased critical attitude toward one’s condition, a loss of individual personality features, and a predominance of a complacent attitude (as in the case of senile psychosis). The main symptom of partial (dysmnestic) dementia is a disturbance of memory accompanied by emotional instability, helplessness, and a weakening of mental activity (as in the case of vascular disease of the brain). In partial dementia, however, consciousness of one’s own incompetence is retained, and the personality does not lose its individuality to the degree that it does with total dementia. The irreversibility of dementia is to some extent conditional, as is demonstrated by the results of treatment for patients with Bayle’s disease. In addition, there is a special form of acute transitory dementia associated with certain febrile, toxic, and other psychoses. The characteristics of dementia depend on the disease that produces the mental deterioriation; among the diseases are epilepsy, schizophrenia, and alcoholism.

M. I. FOM’IANOV

dementia

[də′men·chə]
(psychology)
Deterioration of intellectual and other mental processes due to organic brain disease.

dementia

a state of serious emotional and mental deterioration, of organic or functional origin
References in periodicals archive ?
Cytokines in the brain during viral infection: clues to HIV-associated dementia.
Clinical-neuropathologic correlation in HIV-associated dementia.
In HIV-positive patients with evidence of cognitive impairment, neuropsychological testing can help determine if the pattern of deficits is consistent with HIV-associated dementia.
Lipton, "Pathways to neuronal injury and apoptosis in HIV-associated dementia," Nature, vol.
Keywords: AIDS, cryptococcal meningitis, HIV, HIV-associated dementia, neurological complications, nursing, peripheral neuropathy, toxoplasmosis
In CHARTER participants with incidental or contributing conditions, the researchers vised standard NP tests to determine whether they had asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (impairment that did not interfere significantly with everyday functioning), mild neurocognitive disorder, or HIV-associated dementia.
They analysed 780 HIV sequences from 53 normal and abnormal tissues from seven patients who had died between 1995 and 2003 from various AIDS-related conditions, including HIV-associated dementia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and generalized infections throughout the body.
Women have been reported to have higher rates of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) than men (Chiesi et al.
This type of HIV may also cause brain problems such as HIV-associated dementia.
Autopsy studies of patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD) demonstrate damage to the deep white matter areas involved in sub-cortical dementia (including the caudate nucleus and basal ganglia).
Tat seems to be responsible for most of the neurological symptoms seen in patients with HIV-associated dementia," said Prasad.
HIV-associated dementia (HAD)is a progressive brain problem that causes confusion, loss of memory, difficulty with thinking, and trouble with keeping balanced.