According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) the criteria for being diagnosed with Major Neurocognitive Disorder (formerly dementia) are:

1. Evidence of significant cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains — such as complex attention, executive function, learning, memory, language, perceptual-motor or social cognition.

This evidence should consist of:

  • Concern of the individual, a knowledgeable informant (such as a friend or family member), or the clinician that there’s been a significant decline in cognitive function; and
  • A substantial impairment in cognitive performance, preferably documented by standardized neuropsychological testing. Of if neuropsychological testing isn’t available, another type of qualified assessment.

2. The cognitive deficits interfere with independence in everyday activities (e.g., at a minimum, requiring assistance with complex instrumental activities of daily living, such as paying bills or managing medications).

3. The cognitive deficits don’t occur exclusively in context of delirium, and are not better explained by another mental disorder. It would then be specified if the disorder is caused by Alzheimer's Disease, Lewy Body Dimentia (LBD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and/or other ailments.

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Resource DSM-V Diagnostic Criteria dementia Alzheimer's TBI & Traumatic Braining Injury