Dr. MJ Bazos MD, Patient
HandoutDementia: What Are the Common Signs?

What is dementia?
Dementia is a problem in the brain that makes it hard for a person to remember, learn and communicate. After a while, this makes it hard for the person to take care of himself or herself.

Dementia may also change a person's mood and personality. At first, memory loss and trouble thinking clearly may bother the person who has dementia. Later, disruptive behavior and other problems may start. The person who has dementia may not be aware of these problems.

What causes dementia?
Dementia is caused by the destruction of brain cells. A head injury, a stroke, a brain tumor or a problem like Alzheimer's disease can damage brain cells. Some people have a family history of dementia.

What are some common signs of dementia?

What if I have any of these signs of dementia?
Talk with your doctor. Your doctor can do tests to find out if your signs are caused by dementia. The sooner you know, the sooner you can talk to your doctor about treatment options.

What if a family member has signs of dementia?
If your family member has some of the signs of dementia, try to get him or her to go see a doctor. You may want to go along and talk with the doctor before your relative sees him or her. Then you can tell the doctor about the way your relative is acting without embarrassing your relative.

Alzheimer's Association: www.alz.org
National Institute on Aging: www.nih.gov/nia
National Institute of Mental Health: www.nimh.nih.gov
American Psychiatric Association: www.psych.org