Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.
Dementia is a major socio-economic challenge with care costs approaching 1% of global GDP (WHO Report 2012). Several conditions that lead to serious loss of cognitive ability are grouped under this syndrome, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Fronto-temporal Dementia, among others
This syndrome has adverse effects in the quality of life of tens of millions of people (both patients and caregivers) and exerts tremendous pressure on the healthcare systems of European nations, especially when the clear trends towards an ageing population, changing environmental influences and contemporary lifestyle choices are taken into account.