Table 82 Dsmiii R criteria for dementia

Diagnosis of dementia requires evidence of: A Memory impairment B At least one of the following:

1. Abstract thinking impairment

2. Impaired judgment

3. Disturbed higher cortical functions:

• Motor actions = apraxia

• Recognition = agnosia

• Constructional difficulties

C Personality change

D Disturbance significantly interferes with work, social interactions or relationships E Not due to delirium or other disorders, e.g. major depression

Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (3rd edn Revised). Washington, DCA: American Psychiatric Association, 1987.

The problem occasionally results in marked emotional and physical instability. It is sad and difficult for relatives to watch their loved ones develop aggressive and antisocial behaviour, such as poor table manners, poor personal cleanliness, rudeness and a lack of interest in others. Sometimes severe problems such as violent behaviour, sexual promiscuity and incontinence will eventuate.

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