Dementia DDx


Dementia is a syndrome of acquired intellectual impairment characterized by persistent deficits in at least three of the following areas of mental activity:

  • memory
  • language
  • visuospatial skills
  • personality/emotional state
  • cognition (abstraction, mathematics, and judgment)


Primary dementia syndromes

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy body disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia

Other neurodegenerative disorders

  • Parkinsonian syndrome with dementia (see Parkinsonism)
  • Idiopathic Parkinson disease
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration
  • Huntington disease (see Chorea in Movement Disorders)


  • HIV dementia: increasingly common as HIV-infected patients live longer
  • Neurosyphilis
  • Prion disease: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Chronic meningitis (see Infection/Inflammatory chapter)

Paraneoplastic disorders

Toxic and metabolic causes

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Chronic hypoxemia
  • Toxin exposure including manganese, lead, and mercury


  • Traumatic dementia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Demyelinating disease with dementia, e.g. multiple sclerosis

CCC 700 6

Critical Care


Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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