Dementia's Effects Vary with Cause

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

I borrowed this headline directly from this article in today's Baltimore Sun.

The headline filled me with optimism that the article could be useful in my ongoing campaign to clarify the fact that "dementia" is not a disease but rather a symptom caused by many distinct medical conditions. I think it is important for all to understand that we don't "treat" dementia, rather, we treat the Alzheimer's or Parkinson's or stroke or other underlying cause of the dementia.

The headline makes it clear that dementia has more than one cause so I was hopeful that the body of the article would be beneficial in clarifying what I have summarized above. Alas, this is not the case and the article will be just one more of the many that add to the confusion around the term dementia.

However, the descriptions of the various causes of dementia are useful and accurate as are the summaries of typical symptoms associated with each cause of dementia. In this regard, the article is a worthy read. Just be sure to disregard the opening sentence stating that "Dementia is an illness..." because it is actually a symptom of some other problem.

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