Dementia is the loss of mental functions such as thinking,
memory, and reasoning that is severe enough to interfere with a person's daily
functioning. Dementia is not a disorder itself, but rather a group of symptoms
that are caused by various disorders or conditions. Symptoms can also include
changes in personality, mood, and behavior. In some cases, the dementia can be
treated and cured because the cause is treatable.
Examples of this include dementia caused by substance abuse
(illicit drugs and alcohol), combinations of prescription medications, and
hormone or vitamin imbalances. In some cases, although the person may appear to
have dementia, a severe depression can be causing the symptoms. This is known
as pseudo-dementia (false dementia) and is highly treatable. In most cases,
however, true dementia cannot be cured.