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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- Cummings JL, Benson DF (1983): Dementia, A Clinical Approach. Boston: ButterworthsGoogle Scholar