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Dementia is not a single disease, but rather a general term used to describe symptoms such as impairments to memory, communication and thinking that are severe enough to affect daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia. Traumatic brain injury, stroke or a brain tumor are other causes of dementia. Neurodegenerative disease is the cause of most dementias.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there. Although dementia is common in very elderly people, it is not part of normal aging.

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TED Talk: Alanna Shaikh – How I’m preparing to get Alzheimer’s