The A’s of dementia


To understand dementia a little bit more, you can remember those 7 words starting with A, which describes the main medical terms and their associated behaviour affecting people with dementia.


Amnesia: loss of memory. Difficulty in using or retaining short-term or long-term memories. This loss of memory can explain why some person living with dementia can ask the same question over and over.


Aphasia: loss of language. Difficulty to use or understand language. It characterises by the progressive loss of language and communication abilities.


Agnosia: loss of recognition. Inability to recognize familiar objects, people, or places, even though their sensory functions are intact. It’s a deficit in the recognition of sensory stimuli.


Apraxia: loss of purposeful movement. Inability to use coordinated and purposeful movement. This can imply difficulty while performing simple physical tasks, like tying shoelace, putting clothes on, or any activity involving coordination.


Anosognosia: loss of insight. Describes the inability to recognize changes and that something is wrong. People with anosognosia are unable to understand why they are experimenting cognitive problems and doesn’t realize the changes in their abilities.


Altered perception: loss of perceptual ability. It happens when the person misinterprets the information the senses are providing. It can manifest in several ways, including changes in vision, hearing, and touch. The person may also experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.


Apathy: loss of initiative. The person with apathy will experiment a lack of interest in starting or participating in activities.