When are the effects of aging considered to be dementia?
The formal definition of dementia requires not only memory loss, but other signs of cognitive decline such as:
- Inability to express or understand language (aphasia)
- Inability to carry out specific skilled motor actions (apraxia)
- Impairment in visual or auditory perception (agnosia)
Common definitions of dementia require that these cognitive changes interfere sufficiently with social or occupational functioning, be sustained, and a change from one’s base cognitive level.