Dementia is the loss of intellectual ability, which is also known as cognitive (thinking) function. Persons with dementia may be confused, not able to remember things, or lose skills they once had, including performing normal daily activities. Eventually, they may not recognize family members or friends and may display agitated behavior. Although dementia is more common in older adults, it is not a normal consequence of aging. The June 6, 2007, issue of JAMA includes an article about screening tests for dementia. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the September 22/29, 2004, issue of JAMA.