oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Evidence-based Pharmacy Practice (EBPP) : dementia

Volume 77, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Dementia is chronic progressive neurodegenerative syndrome characterised by a decline in memory and at least one other cognitive function, resulting in loss of social independence. The word dementia is derived from the Latin words ("out of") and ("the mind"), but is now defined as a brain disorder that includes memory loss, deficits in cognition (thinking, planning and organising abilities), a decline in emotional control or motivation, and changes in social behaviour (such as increased irritation, apathy or problems interacting with other people). The dementias are a family of diseases defined in clinical terms, and the understanding of the dementia subcategories continues to evolve as the fields of imaging and neuropathology supply new levels of detail. About 40 years ago dementias were only classified as cortical or subcortical, while today a far more accurate classification exists of the different types of dementia.

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