HENNY ALLIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNY ALLIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Senile dementia sufferer with her daughter. This substantial loss of intellectual capacity occurs in old age, commonly affecting those over 75 years of age. It is associated with a widespread loss of nerve cells and the shrinkage of brain tissue. Memory, language skills and other cognitive capacities may be affected to the extent that the sufferer is no longer capable of functioning independently. Alzheimer's disease is responsible for around 50% of senile dementia cases. Other causes include stroke, Huntington's chorea, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.
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