Normal Age-Associated Memory Loss

  • Slowdown of the ability to process new information (e.g., learn a new card game
  • Slowdown of short-term memory (e.g., where did I put my keys, glasses?)
  • Slowdown of search and retrieval functions (e.g., forgetting names, words


  • The loss of cognitive or intellectual function, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning, so severe that it interferes with a person’s daily functioning and everyday life
  • Not a disease in itself, but a group of symptoms that accompanies certain diseases or physical conditions
  • Symptoms include poor judgment, disorientation, short attention span
  • More than 50 different types of dementia exist, 15-20% are treatable, so it is important to get a comprehensive clinical assessment

Treatable Dementia (or “Pseudo-dementia”)

  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug reactions
  • Thyroid disorders (or other metabolic)
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Brain tumors
  • Head injuries
  • Infections (e.g., AIDS, meningitis, UTI)
  • Grief reactions
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Fatigue

Causes of Progressive Dementia