Dementia patient and grand-daughter

Dementia patient and grand-daughter

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Credit: HENNY ALLIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Dementia patient being hugged by her grand-daughter during a nursing home visit. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, as well as reduced cognitive capacity. The patient may be unable to recognise her grand-daughter, though the degree of senility can vary, with moments of clear thinking, recognition and lucidity. Dementia is common in old age, usually due to the shrinkage of brain tissue and loss of nerve cells. In severe cases, the patient requires care and is unable to function independently. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Photographed in the Netherlands.

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