What is dementia?
The clinical syndrome of dementia is defined as an impairment of cognitive functions manifesting in damage to long-term and short-term memory, distraction, impaired judgment, change in personality, and change in speech (aphasia). These can become serious enough to significantly interfere with work or regular social activities or relationships with others. To date, there is no known cure for the disease.
The prevalence of dementia increases significantly with age and is estimated at 30% among 85 year olds. With the increase in life expectancy, the incidence of the disease also increases, and it is one of the main health problems affecting the elderly. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s. This disease was first described in 1907 in an article by a German physician named Alois Alzheimer. The estimation is that in Israel, there are approximately 120,000 people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.