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'Dementia' is a term used medically to describe a syndrome (set of symptoms) that is caused by many different diseases. These include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. An analogy is the term 'cancer', which is used to describe any malignant tumor but is not itself a specific disease…

Introduction

1981). since blockage of acetylcholine interferes with memory formation in normal people, it is possible that the loss of acetylcholine-containing neurons underlies the memory deficit in Alzheimer's disease. (p. 193)
In the case of dementia, the effects have been widely noted and accepted (although the quantity of descriptors may vary from one authority to another): often cited are such symptoms as memory loss, particularly in short-term loadings, confusion, and disorientation in time and place, and personality alterations. Unfortunately, such effects may result from a variety of causes, some of which are treatable and others that are not. Depression is a good example of the former; Alzheimer's of the latter.
The prevalence of dementia we see currently is merely the tip of the iceberg at that. There are now some 32 million individuals in this country age 65 and older. That figure is expected to grow to 39 million (a 19 percent increase) in less than 20 years. Though there are now an estimated 5 million victims of dementia, the number may increase to more than 17 million in the same time period. ...
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