n South African Journal of Psychiatry - Dementia : The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) Treatment Guidelines for Psychiatric Disorders




By definition, dementia is an acquired global impairment in memory, personality and intellect in an alert patient, that is sufficiently severe to interfere with social and/or occupational functioning. In the absence of a stroke or rapidly growing cerebral tumours (among other causes), the onset is usually gradual and the cognitive decline is always progressive. In the absence of a cure for the disease, non-pharmacological inventions and the judicious use of pharmacotherapy may not only help the patient and alleviate the stress on the caregiver, but can also help in delaying institutionalisation.


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