Drug use can cause dementia or Alzheimer's disease

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The term Dementia Syndrome (or dementia syndrome) is often used synonymously with dementia. It marks a general intellectual degradation. A dementia syndrome usually manifests itself in the form of Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia or a mixture of these. However, it can also occur with brain inflammation, other brain breakdown diseases (such as multiple sclerosis) and chronic alcohol abuse. Read more about dementia syndrome!

What is dementia syndrome?

The term dementia syndrome (chronic organic brain psychosyndrome) stands for a general intellectual decline. This usually begins with memory and orientation disorders as well as affective (emotional) impairments. In the further course, the personality of the patient can change significantly.

Neurological failures also accompany a dementia syndrome, namely so-called tool disorders. These are disorders of "higher" brain performance caused by the central nervous system, for example language disorders, disorders of recognizing familiar objects (such as bananas), inability to write, read, calculate or carry out actions in a coordinated manner.


Pseudo-dementia is the term used by doctors to describe brain performance disorders that occur temporarily and are simulated by an inhibition of thought and drive (especially in severe depression).

Depressive pseudodementia is the most common form of pseudodementia. It is often not easy to distinguish from the onset of dementia (such as Alzheimer's) or the joint occurrence of dementia and depression. Often times, doctors can only make the correct diagnosis after long and careful observation of the patient.

The depressive pseudodementia usually disappears when the depression is treated properly (with medication and non-medication measures).

Dementia syndrome: Alzheimer's, alcohol, AIDS

The most common form of dementia syndrome is Alzheimer's disease (DAT). Vascular dementia and mixed dementia (especially mixed forms of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia) are also widespread. Lewy body dementia is a rarer form of dementia.

Dementia syndrome can also result from encephalitis or traumatic brain damage. In the second case, for example, one speaks of “boxer's dementia”.

Other brain breakdown diseases can also result in dementia syndrome. These include, for example, Huntington's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease (Parkinson's dementia).

There is also a condition known as AIDS dementia (primary HIV encephalopathy): It is the most common complication in the brain when infected with HIV.

Other diseases, some of which are treatable, can also be associated with dementia syndrome. These include metabolic and hormonal disorders (such as hypothyroidism), deficiencies in certain vitamins (B12, B1, nicotinic acid), tumors and forms of hydrocephalus communicans.

Chronic alcohol abuse is often the trigger for dementia symptoms. Those affected often fill the resulting memory gaps with invented content (Korsakoff syndrome).

Apart from alcoholism, other chronic poisonings (for example with medication, drugs, solvents) can also occur dementia syndrome cause.

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