Show Summary Details
Page of



Bart Sheehan

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Dementia is a clinical syndrome, not a specific disease. It is characterized by impairment of mental functions leading to memory loss, behavioural changes, and impairment in the activities of daily living. It may be caused by several different diseases, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia. There are other potentially treatable causes, including depression, which must be excluded. Drug treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors may reduce the progression of dementia for a period, especially in Alzheimer’s disease. Antipsychotic drugs should be used with great care. The associated impairment and behavioural problems often requires social care, sometimes in institutions, and will place an increasing burden on medical services and society.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.