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Dementia is the loss of intellectual ability, which is also known as cognitive (thinking) function. Persons with dementia may be confused, not be able to remember things, or lose skills they once had, including performing normal daily activities. Eventually, they may not recognize family members or friends and may display agitated behavior. Although dementia is more common in older adults, it is not a normal consequence of aging. The November 3, 2010, issue of JAMA is a theme issue on the topic of aging and includes several articles pertaining to dementia. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the August 12, 2009, issue of JAMA.
Torpy JM, Lynm C, Glass RM. Dementia. JAMA. 2010;304(17):1972. doi:10.1001/jama.304.17.1972
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