Alzheimer’s Association states, “dementia is not a specific disease but a range of symptoms associated with cognitive impairment severe enough to affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.”  Differentiating Dementias

Range of symptoms (high to low) associated with cognitive impairment:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD) – 50%-75%
  • Vascular dementia (VaD) – 20%-30%
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) – 10%-25%
  • Parkinson dementia (PD)
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – 10%-15%
  • Mixed dementia (2 or more etiologies)
    • AD and VaD
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – less frequent
  • Huntington’s – less frequent
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – less frequent
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus – less frequent

DSM-5 Definition: Major neurocognitive disorder (NCD) – XXX

Alzheimer’s Association states, “To meet the DSM-5 criteria for major neurocognitive disorder, an individual must have evidence of significant cognitive decline in memory or another cognitive ability, such as language or learning, that interferes with independence in everyday activities.  For example, an individual may need assistance with complex activities such as paying bills or managing medications.  Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is now subsumed under DSM-5 criteria for mild neurocognitive disorder – an individual has evidence of modest cognitive decline, but the impairment does not interfere with performing complex activities.  It might take more effort, but a person can still pay bills and manage their medications”.