Diagnostic criteria for Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type


A.  The development of multiple cognitive deficits
manifested by both:
  • (1) memory impairment (impaired ability to learn new information or to recall previously learned information)
  • (2) one (or more) of the following cognitive disturbances:
  • (a) aphasia (language disturbance)
  • (b) apraxia (impaired ability to carry out motor activities despite intact motor function
  • (c) agnosia (failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function)
  • (d) disturbance in executive functioning (i.e., planning, organizing, sequencing, abstracting)
B. The cognitive deficits in Criteria A1 and A2 each cause   significant impairment in social or occupational functioning and represent a significant decline from a previous level of functioning.


C. The course is characterized by gradual onset and continuing cognitive decline.


D. The cognitive deficits in Criteria A1 and A2 are not due to any of the following:
  • (1) other central nervous system conditions that cause progressive deficits in memory and cognition (e.g., cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, subdural hematoma, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor)
  • (2) systemic conditions that are known to cause dementia (e.g., hypothyroidism, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency, niacin deficiency, hypercalcemia, neurosyphilis, HIV infection)
  • (3) substance-induced conditions
E. The deficits do not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium.


F. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another Axis
I disorder (e.g., Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia).

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. American Psychiatric Association.


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