Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Dementia

  • Kathryn V. PappEmail author
  • Jairo Enrique Martinez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1118

Synonyms

Senility

Short Description or Definition

Dementia is characterized by a progressive decline in multiple domains of cognitive functioning which ultimately interferes with independent daily living and results in a shortened lifespan. It is not a disease or a disorder in itself but a descriptive symptom complex with a number of potential underlying pathologies and/or traumas which result in deficits in multiple domains. It is largely a diagnosis of the elderly, but certain forms such as Multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease can appear in middle age. Variations such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and head trauma, which results in a nonprogressive dementia, can occur at any age. In progressive dementia, early symptoms can include memory complaints (forgetting names and appointments) and difficulty in learning new material. As dementia progresses, complaints may include difficulties with expressive and receptive language, impairments in executive function (poor judgment,...
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA