Dementia causes decline in reasoning, short and long-term memory and other mental abilities, usually impacting the capability to do everyday activities. It also causes a decline in all areas of intellectual functioning, including the use language and numbers and awareness of what is happening. Age related memory-loss although a nuisance, doesn’t impair the ability to learn new information, solve problems or carry out everyday activities. Hence, people with dementia eventually become totally dependent on others for their daily care.
Inside the brain of a person with dementia, you will find amyloid plaques in the tissues of the nerve cells. You will also find neurofibrillary tangles, which are twisted filaments that are located within the neurons. These plaques and filaments are made up of protein which interfere with the communication between the nerve cells and therefore the death of the cells is inevitable. Classifications of dementia include cortical and subcortical dementia, primary and secondary dementia and progressive dementia.
An in depth look at the 7 stages of dementia can be found here.