Medical Encyclopedia


Medical Encyclopedia

Other encyclopedia topics:  A-Ag  Ah-Ap  Aq-Az  B-Bk  Bl-Bz  C-Cg  Ch-Co  Cp-Cz  D-Di  Dj-Dz  E-Ep  Eq-Ez  F  G  H-Hf  Hg-Hz  I-In  Io-Iz  J  K  L-Ln  Lo-Lz  M-Mf  Mg-Mz  N  O  P-Pl  Pm-Pz  Q  R  S-Sh  Si-Sp  Sq-Sz  T-Tn  To-Tz  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  0-9 

Dementia due to metabolic causes

Contents of this page:


Central nervous system
Central nervous system

Definition    Return to top

Dementia due to metabolic causes is a loss of mental function that can occur with diabetes, thyroid disease, and other metabolic disorders.

Causes    Return to top

How often this condition affects different ages, genders, and races varies based on the disorder that is causing the dementia.

Metabolic causes of dementia include:

Symptoms    Return to top

Dementia that occurs with metabolic disorders may cause confusion and changes in intellect or reasoning. These changes may be temporary or permanent.

Note: The person may also have symptoms from the disorder that caused dementia.

Exams and Tests    Return to top

An examination of the nervous system (neurologic examination) can show different problems, depending on the cause. Abnormal reflexes may be present.

Tests may include:

Treatment    Return to top

Treatment focuses on the cause of the disorder and on controlling symptoms. Treatment of the cause may include:

As the symptoms get worse, the person may need 24-hour monitoring and care in the home or in a care facility.

Long-term care may include:

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

The outcome varies depending on the cause of the dementia and the amount of damage to the brain.

Possible Complications    Return to top

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of dementia.

Call for an appointment if your symptoms get worse or continue, even with treatment for the metabolic cause, or if you have new symptoms.

Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if there is a sudden change in mental status or a life-threatening emergency.

Prevention    Return to top

Treating the metabolic disorder may reduce the risk of developing this type of dementia.

References    Return to top

Farlow MR, Cummings JL. Effective pharmacologic management of Alzheimer's disease. Am J Med. 2007;120:388-397.

Goetz CG, ed. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders;2007.

Update Date: 2/13/2008

Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M. Logo

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2009, A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.