June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

What is Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – that leads to deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Consciousness is not affected.  The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by changes in mood, emotional control, behavior, or motivation. Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death among all diseases and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. Dementia has physical, psychological, social and economic impacts, not only for people living with dementia, but also for their careers, families and society at large.

There is often a lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, resulting in stigmatization and barriers to diagnosis and care. If you have questions about yourself or a loved one, contact your primary care physician.