Senility (seh-NIL-ih-tee), or senile (SEE-nile) dementia (deh-MEN-chia), is a condition characterized by the deterioration of mental abilities, such as memory, problem-solving skills, and abstract thinking. Its causes include infections, strokes, depression, and alcohol or substance abuse, as well as diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer's. Since some causes of senility, such as certain tumors and infections, are treatable, it's important to seek the diagnosis of a qualified professional as soon as symptoms occur. Although the success of treatments vary according to the condition, early detection is almost always beneficial. Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of senility, has no known cure, and treatment is geared towards finding practical methods of dealing with the individual symptoms such as memory loss. At first, this may only involve frequent visits from family or friends and the use of simple memory aids like daily schedules. However, as the disease progresses, more extreme measures such as in-home assisted nursing programs, elderly daycare centers, and professional nursing facilities must be considered. Many communities offer support services that can help both patients and family members cope with senile dementia. For more information, consult a physician in your area.
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