Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type
The development of multiple cognitive deficits manifested by both:
- memory impairment (impaired ability to learn new information or to recall previously learned information)
- 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 course is characterized by gradual onset and continuing cognitive decline. The deficits do not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium.
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
Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.