A 2008 Cochrane Review concludes that the evidence was insufficient to determine whether adding mild physical activity, such as yoga, to usual care is effective in managing or improving health outcomes in patients with dementia.
Dementia (taken from Latin) originally meaning madness, from de- (without) + ment, the root of mens (mind) is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal ageing.
It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body.
Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it can occur before the age of 65, in which case it is termed “early-onset dementia”.
Dementia is not a single disease, but a non-specific illness syndrome (i.e., set of signs and symptoms). Affected cognitive areas can be memory, attention, language, and problem-solving.
Normally, symptoms must be present for at least six months to support a diagnosis. Cognitive dysfunction of shorter duration is called delirium.
In all types of general cognitive dysfunction, higher mental functions are affected first in the process.