Dementia is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease. It is not limited to short-term memory loss, but will progress (if the patient lives long enough) to the patient’s complete dependence upon others for survival. Some types of dementia are almost solely genetic in origin (huntington’s, certain types of early onset Alzheimer’s) while other types are greatly environmental/lifestyle related (vascular, korsakoff’s, AIDS).
While dementia itself cannot be cured, patients with early stage dementia (not to be confused with early onset dementia) can benefit from psychotherapy to manage associated mood symptoms (such as depression & anxiety) & planning for their greatest good when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Moreover, caregivers can also benefit from support, education, & psychotherapy to help manage the mood & behavior of their loved one by managing their own mood & behavior. Symptom management is best when psychological intervention is early & often in the disease progression.