What is meant by a reversible dementia?

Dementia in treatable conditions can be reversed, such that the brain regains functions that were previously lost.

Common causes of reversible dementias include:

  • Chronic alcoholism, with dementia developing as a result from complications with liver disease or with nutritional deficiencies.
  • Brain infections that cause inflammation and damage cells. Infections, such as meningitis and encephalitis, can be primary causes of dementia.
  • Damage of brain cells from traumatic head injury.
  • Hormone disorders in the thyroid gland, adrenal gland or pituitary gland.
  • Hypoxia, or poor oxygenation in the blood.
  • Some drugs can cause temporary memory loss and as can misuse of prescription drugs over time.
  • Certain vitamin deficiencies, such as B vitamins.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid collects outside the brain.
  • A brain tumor can produce dementia in a number of ways by pressing on structures within the brain.
  • Exposure to solvents or heavy metal dusts and fumes without protective gear.
  • Depression.

Those with these conditions should consult their physician to determine the proper treatment to reverse dementia symptoms.

Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder? Contact Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, Director of Services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, (225) 334-7494, advice@alzbr.org, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.