The DSM-5 has changed the term “Dementia” to “Neurocognitive Disorders”. This change was made to help decrease the negative connotation of this term, as well as the fact that most people really didn’t know what the term meant.
Neurocognitive Disorders will now include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, HIV infection, Lewy body disease, vascular disease, and amnestic disorders (which all cause memory problems). These will be subdivided into major and minor degrees of cognitive decline based on whether a person can perform their activities of daily living by themselves.
By Dr. Terra Caudill, MD, MS