A to Z
Data &
Forms &
News &
Licensing &
Rules &
Public Health


Dementia is a type of cognitive disorder that affects a part of the brain responsible for memory, learning, problem-solving and judgment.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder whose early symptoms include loss of recent memory, difficulty remembering names and nouns, poor judgment, trouble learning new information and poor concentration. In later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a person must depend on others for total care. The course of the disease is generally from three to 15 years, with death usually resulting from complications of the illness such as malnutrition.
Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Dementia also can be caused by reactions to medications, nutritional deficiencies, infections, poisoning and brain tumors, as well as anoxia or hypoxia, which occur when the brain’s oxygen supply is reduced or cut off altogether.

Related Topics

Healthy Aging
Healthy Aging in Oregon Counties is a report that provides an overview of issues impacting the health of older Oregonians, and to help aging, public health, and other community organizations develop effective strategies to help older Oregonians age safely, remaining healthy and independent as long as possible.
The CDC’s Healthy Aging Program serves as the focal point for efforts to promote the health and quality of life of older Americans. Located within CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the program focuses primarily on adults age 50 or older.
Healthy Brain Initiative
The Healthy Brain Initiative is a CDC project aimed at assisting the public health community with finding and promoting opportunities for helping people maintain cognitive health, and increasing awareness of the significant health, social and economic burdens associated with cognitive decline.
Living Well Program
Living Well with Chronic Conditions is a 6-week workshop that provides tools for living a healthy life with a chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and depression. Through weekly sessions, the workshop provides support for continuing normal daily activities and dealing with the emotions that chronic conditions may bring about.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can increase a person's risk of dementia. TBI occurs when the normal function of the brain is disrupted by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury. Each year, TBIs contribute many cases of permanent disability and deaths. OHA's Injury & Violence Prevention Section collects data to identify the causes of TBI and other traumatic injuries and recommend prevention activities.

See Also