Dementia is not a normal part of aging.
Dementia includes multiple diseases that affect the brain. Over months and years, dementia affects the brain more, causing some symptoms to get worse and new ones to appear.
The different types of dementia include:
Alzheimer's disease, the most common dementia, affects the ability to remember new information.
Vascular dementia occurs when blood vessels can't bring enough blood to the brain.
Lewy body dementia is more likely to cause hallucinations and problems with movement.
Is a less common type that causes language problems and changes in personality and behavior.
People with dementia experience the disease in different ways. Many people have "good days" and "bad days".
People in the early stages of dementia often have trouble remembering, paying attention, reasoning, speaking or following conversations. They may struggle to prepare meals, pay bills, take medications or remember directions. They may also go through changes in mood or personality.
Forgetting things is a common symptom, but memory loss doesn't necessarily mean a person has dementia. Sometimes what looks like dementia can be caused by drug reactions, thyroid problems, depression, infections, alcohol abuse or other treatable conditions.
Health professionals can determine if changes in memory, behavior or mood are due to dementia or other causes.