An Overview of Dementias
Dementia is a major public health concern that afflicts an estimated 24.3 million people worldwide. Great strides are being made in order to better diagnose, prevent, and treat these disorders. Dementia is associated with multiple complications, some of which can be life-threatening, such as dysphagia. There is great variability between dementias in terms of when dysphagia and other swallowing disorders occur. In order to prepare the reader for the other articles in this publication discussing swallowing issues in depth, the authors of this article will provide a brief overview of the prevalence, risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, current treatment options, and implications for eating for the common forms of neurodegenerative dementias.