Dementia, Senility, Alzheimer’s Disease

        Dementia or senility is a gradual loss of thinking ability and memory with normal consciousness and perception of the senses. It can be from a variety of illnesses affecting the structure of the brain, with Alzheimer’s Disease being the most frequent cause. It can also occur commonly after strokes or CVA’s (Cerebral Vascular Accidents) which impair the blood flow to the brain and cause loss of brain tissue and function. It is frequently accompanied by depression, and the individual may improve with antidepressant treatment although the underlying disease will continue. A few treatments are thought to slow the course of the illness if started early, but thus far nothing has been found to cure or prevent the illness which often runs in families. Some patients experience delusions such as paranoia or hallucinations which complicate their illness and may cause them to require hospitalization to receive treatment with medication to help reduce these symptoms and enable the patient to function again in the community with supervision. 

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