International Psychogeriatrics

Metabolic and endocrinological causes of dementia

Leon Flicker a1c1 and David Ames a2
a1 School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
a2 University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry, Academic Unit for the Psychiatry of Old Age, Victoria, Australia

Article author query
flicker l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ames d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Deficiencies of vitamins B12, B3 and folate, abnormalities of cortisol metabolism, Wilson's disease, renal and hepatic failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypo- and hypernatremia, thyroid and parathyroid dysfunction, hyper- and hypoglycemia and Marchiafava–Bignani disease are metabolic and endocrinological abnormalities that may be associated with cognitive impairment. In some cases these abnormalities may be causative of impaired cognition and in other situations merely associated with cognitive impairment. The existence of these conditions provides some justification for routine investigations commonly performed on patients presenting with possible early dementia.

Key Words: cognitive impairment; tests; investigations; vitamin deficiencies; thyroid disease.

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Leon Flicker, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Royal Perth Hospital, Box X2213 GPO, Perth, WA 6001, Australia. Phone: +618-9224-2750; Fax: +618-9224-2063. Email: