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Alzheimer's Disease Related Terms

- D -

  • Deficits

  • Physical and/or cognitive skills or abilities that a person has lost, has difficulty with, or can no longer perform due to his or her dementia.

  • Delusion

  • A false idea typically originating from a misinterpretation but firmly believed and strongly maintained in spite of contradictory proof or evidence.

  • Dementia

  • The loss of intellectual functions (such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning) of sufficient severity to interfere with a person�s daily functioning. Dementia is not a disease itself but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may also include changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Dementia is irreversible when caused by disease or injury but may be reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, hormone or vitamin imbalances, or depression.

  • Dementia-Capable

  • Skilled in working with people with dementia and their caregivers, knowledgeable about the kinds of services that may help them, and aware of which agencies and individuals provide such services.

  • Dementia-Specific

  • Services that are provided specifically for people with dementia.

  • Dendrites

  • Branched extensions of the nerve cell body that receive signals from other nerve cells. Each nerve cell usually has many dendrites.

  • Diagnosis

  • The process by which a physician determines what disease a patient has by studying the patient�s symptoms and medical history and analyzing any tests performed (blood, urine, brain scans, etc.).

  • Disorientation

  • A cognitive disability in which the senses of time, direction, and recognition become difficult to distinguish.


  • A chain of nucleotides (cytosine, guanine, adenine, or thymine) linked with ribose sugar molecules that form the basis of genetic material. Specific patterns of nucleotides represent particular genes.

  • Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

  • A research procedure in which neither researchers nor patients know who is receiving the experimental substance or treatment and who is receiving a placebo.

  • Down Syndrome

  • A syndrome that causes slowed growth, abnormal facial features, and mental retardation. Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. Most individuals with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer�s disease in adulthood.

  • Durable Power Of Attorney

  • A legal document that allows an individual (the principal) an opportunity to authorize an agent (usually a trusted family member or friend) to make legal decisions for when the person is no longer able to do so themselves.

  • Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care

  • A legal document that allows an individual to appoint an agent to make all decisions regarding health care, including choices regarding health care providers, medical treatment, and, in the later stages of the disease, end-of-life decisions.

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Alzheimer�s Disease Terms

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