The term dementia refers to a number of different diseases, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Dementia should be thought of as a general description that encompasses behavioral and functional changes. That’s according to Halima Amjad, a dementia expert at Johns Hopkins.

Amjad: Dementia really is just an umbrella term for a number of different diseases. Dementia refers to cognitive changes, memory, language, complex thinking that starts to affect functional ability, so being able to just complete regular complex tasks that a lot of us do every day. Driving, using a computer, managing medications and appointments. Alzheimer's disease is one cause of dementia and it is the most common cause but there's other diseases that we commonly see as causes of dementia.  :29

Other common causes of dementia include frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia,  vascular dementia, and several others. Amjad says distinguishing which type of dementia someone has is important in predicting the course of the illness and as specific therapies are developed, in whom they may be useful. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.