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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Diseases and Disorders - Dementia

Diseases and Disorders - Dementia

Dementia has been known since ancient times. Medical texts from the Roman Empire mention dementia. The Roman philosopher and politician Cicero wrote about it in the second century B.C., referring to it as “senilis stultitia.”
Even then, there was disagreement about whether it was an illness or a normal part of growing old. The word dementia, which comes from the Latin for “without mind,” came into common use in the 1700s, and is mentioned in the 1808 code of law written by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Today, dementia in its various forms is diagnosed in almost 370,000 people in the United States each year. While older people make up the majority of those affected, people of any age can have it in one form or another. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease alone. It ranks seventh among the leading causes of death in the United States. Many more people are affected by non-Alzheimer’s dementias such as vascular dementia, caused by changes in the brain’s blood supply, and frontotemporal dementia, which affects only certain parts of the brain. Still others have dementia as a result of brain infections or injuries.
The U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment estimates that as many as 6.8 million Americans are affected with some form of dementia, 1.8 million of them severely.

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April 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM  
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April 20, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

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