Dementia refers to a syndrome, because it is a complex combination of different symptoms. Characteristic are the loss of memory as well as the successive reduction of the ability to think and orient oneself up to complete loss. The symptoms often occur in conjunction with other diseases.
There is a primary and secondary form of dementia. The primary form involves clinical pictures such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular or Lewy body dementia. This form is not curable up to the present medical and scientific state. The symptoms occur as a result of a continuously increasing degradation of nerve cells and tissue damage in the brain.
In secondary dementia, the symptoms occur as a result of other diseases. Causes may include severe vitamin B12 deficiency, infections or inflammation, and thyroid disease. There are also medications that can cause dementia symptoms, and psychological stress and depression are also considered triggers. In this case, depending on the severity, reversal and cure is possible.
An increased risk of developing dementia is especially common among people who suffer from diabetes mellitus, smoke or are heavily overweight. An active and healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing the disease.