The term dementia refers to symptoms, including changes in memory, personality, and behaviour that result from a change in the functioning of the brain. These declining changes are severe enough to impair the ability of a person to perform a function or to interact socially. This operating definition encompasses 70?80 different types of dementia. They include changes due to diseases (Alzheimer's and Creutzfeld-Jakob diseases), changes due to a heart attack or repeated blows to the head (as suffered by boxers), and damage due to long-term alcohol abuse.
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