• Fred Plum
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Dementia is a sustained, multidimensional loss of cognitive function secondary to organic central nervous system damage, unaccompanied by evidence of an acute superimposed state of clouded consciousness as occurs with delirium or reduced arousal. The onset of dementia can be abrupt, maximal, and static, e.g., following cardiac arrest or severe head trauma, or progressive such as occurs in the degenerative diseases of aging. Of the two forms the progressive types of dementia create by far the more frequent problem and, reflecting the increased longevity of the population, have become one of the major public health concerns of the Western world. Over 6% of adults aged over 65 years and 20% over the age of 80 are estimated to suffer from a medically or socially disabling degree of dementia.


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Further reading

  1. Cummings JL, Benson DF (1983): Dementia, A Clinical Approach. Boston: ButterworthsGoogle Scholar
  2. Martin JB (1984): Huntington’s disease: new approaches to an old problem. Neurology 34: 1059–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Morrison JG, Rogers J, Scherr S, Benoit R, Bloom FE (1985): Somatostatin immunoreactivity in neuritic plaques of Alzheimer’s patients. Nature 314: 90–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Roberts GW, Crow TJ, Polak JM (1985): Location of neuronal tangles in somatostatin neurons in Alzheimer’s disease. Nature 314: 92–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Terry RD, Katzman R (1983): Senile dementia of the Alzheimer type. Ann Neurol 14: 497–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Plum

There are no affiliations available

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