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Dementia of Alzheimers Type

Psychological Disorder

The development of multiple cognitive deficits such as manifested by both, Impaired memory, long or short-term, can't learn new information or can't recall information previously learned and is distinguished by:

one (or more) of the following cognitive disturbances:

Aphasia (language disturbance).

Apraxia (impaired ability to carry out motor activities despite intact motor function).

Agnosia (failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function).

Disturbance in executive functioning (i.e., planning, organizing, sequencing, abstracting)

The cognitive deficits above each cause significant impairment in social or occupational functioning and represent a significant decline from a previous level of functioning. 

The decline in mental functioning begins gradually and worsens steadily.

The cognitive deficits above are not due to any of the following:

Other central nervous system conditions that cause progressive deficits in memory and cognition (e.g., cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, subdural hematoma, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor).

Systemic conditions that are known to cause dementia  (e.g., hypothyroidism, vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiency, niacin deficiency, hypercalcemia, neurosyphilis, HIV infection).

Substance-induced conditions.

They aren't better explained by another Axis I disorder such as a Depressive Disorder or Schizophrenia.

Associated Features:

Learning Problem
Dysarthria or Involuntary Movement
Depressed Mood
Somatic or Sexual Dysfunction
Sexually Deviant Behavior
Odd or Eccentric or Suspicious Personality
Anxious or Fearful or Dependent Personality
Dramatic or Erratic or Antisocial Personality

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar or even overlapping symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Normal Process of Ageing;
Major Depressive Episode;
Factitious Disorder with Psychological Symptoms.


Alzheimer's Disease is defined by the National Institute on Ageing as progressive, irreversible declines in memory, performance of routine tasks, time and space orientation, language and communication skills, abstract thinking, and the ability to learn and carry out mathematical calculations. Other symptoms include personality changes and impaired judgment. Although a direct cause of Alzheimer's is not known certain common factors are found in the clinical picture of suffers. These include; prior personality organisation of the individual and stressfulness of their life situation.


Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's, and various psychotherapies appear to be ineffective, there are ways to treat some of the symptoms of the disease:

Use of medications to treat cognitive decline and memory loss.

Appropriate activities such as exercise, recreation, and adult day care services appear to assist in the management of the patient.

Caregiving  [ See Caregiving Issues Section ] :

At times, a person may display behavior problems such as wandering, paranoia, suspiciousness, combativeness or resistance to maintaining personal hygiene. These behavioral problems can seem overwhelming to the caregiver. Suggest strategies to assist in daily care giving tasks can consist of:

Enrolment in the Alzheimer's Association's Safe Return Program, an identification program for memory impaired adults.

Modifying the person's environment in order to reduce confusion caused by over stimulation such as reducing noise and bright lights.

Explaining a task before you do it by such as saying, "I am going to help you put on your shirt."

Providing a predictable routine at home with structured time for meals, bathing, exercise, and bedtime.

Providing reassurance to the confused patient without challenging their accusations or misperceptions and by redirecting their attention

If it  appears that the above situational strategies are not successful a combination of situational activities combine with drug therapy to manage symptoms of depression, restlessness, hallucinations, hostility and agitation may be required

Pharmacotherapy [ See Psychopharmacology Section ] :

Cognex (tacrine hydrochloride)

Aricept (donepexil hydrochloride)

DSM Code

290.0 Dementia of the
Alzheimer’s Type, With
Late Onset, Uncomplicated.

F00.0 Dementia in Alzheimer's Disease .

Disorder Sheets

Alzheimer's Society
Gordon House
10 Greencoat Place
Tel: 020 7306 0606
Fax: 020 7306 0808
Email: Click Here
Web: Click Here
Facebook : Click Here

Recommended Book

Interventions for Alzheimer's Disease: A Caregiver's Complete Reference - Click Here to View



Misc Information

Alzheimer's Dementia