menti-, ment-

(Latin: mens, mentalis; mind, intellectual faculties; mental; memory)

Alzheimer disease, Alzheimer's disease
1. A progressive degenerative disease of the brain that causes impairment of memory and dementia manifested by confusion, visual-spatial disorientation, inability to calculate, and deterioration of judgment.
2. Etymology: although the origin of the concept of dementia goes as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and physicians; it was in 1901 when Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915), a German neurologist, identified the first case of what became known as Alzheimer's disease which currently describes individuals of all ages with a characteristic common symptom pattern, disease course, and neuropathology.

Delusions and hallucinations may occur. The most common degenerative brain disorder, Alzheimer disease makes up 70% of all cases of dementia. Onset is usually in late middle life, and death typically takes place in five to ten years.

Synonyms: Alzheimer dementia, presenile dementia; dementia presenilis, primary senile dementia, primary neuronal degeneration.

Alzheimer disease ranks fourth as a cause of death in the U.S., and its annual cost to the nation is nearly $100 billion.

Onset is typically insidious, with a progressive deterioration in the ability to learn and retain information. In recalling and repeating new material, the patient makes intrusion errors (insertion of irrelevant words or ideas) and resorts to confabulation (fabrication of stories in response to questions about situations or events that are not recalled).

Orientation and judgment decline; 50% of patients experience depression, 20% delusions. Agitation occurs in 70%. Numerous drugs, including many not considered psychoactive, can aggravate the symptoms of Alzheimer disease; clinical depression can mask dementia, and vice versa.

Neurologic findings may be essentially normal, but myoclonus (condition of abnormal contraction of muscles or portions of muscles), bradykinesia (slow movements), rigidity, and seizures can occur late in the disease. Death is usually due to sepsis (blood stream infection or blood poisoning) associated with urinary or pulmonary infection.

—Compiled from information located in,
"Alzheimer's disease"; The American Medical Association Home Medical Encyclopedia,
Medical Editor, Charles B. Clayman, MD; Random House, New York;
1989; Page 91.
amentia (s) (noun), amentias (pl)
Without normal mental abilities; such as, a congenital intellectual deficiency or retardation: Lionel was diagnosed with amentia because of his psychological disorder which was characterized by confusion, disorientation, and occasionally stupor.
amential (adjective) (nor comparable)
A reference to, or relating to a mental impairment: Jane's brother was diagnosed as having an amential disorder and went to a special school for mentally handicapped children.
Compos mentis.
1. Of sound mind, memory, and understanding; sane.
2. In law, competent to go to trial.
3. If someone is compos mentis, he/she is able to think clearly and is responsible for her/his actions: "My sister was quite old, when I last saw her, but she was definitely compos mentis."
1. Significant loss of intellectual abilities; such as, memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning.
2. A rarely used term for dementia.
dement (verb), dements; demented; dementing
1. Going out of one's mind: Legally, to dement is a form of mental disorder in which cognitive and intellectual functions of the brain are being prominently affected.

Impairment of memory is an early sign of dementing; total recovery is thought to be impossible since organic cerebral disease is involved.

When dementing is going on, it is also existing as "adolescent insanity" or "schizophrenia".

2. Etymology: from Latin dement, literally, "losing one's mind".
demented (adjective), more demented, most demented
1. Characteristic of being mentally ill or insane: Trina's demented talking and ramblings were symptoms of her illness.
2. Pertaining to not being mentally well and not able to comprehend what is real or not able to think clearly: There were several of the elderly demented people in the nursing home who could not even recognize members of their own families when they came to visit.
A demented man is shooting ducks in the sky with his finger.
© ALL rights are reserved.

A man and woman are dressed in abnormal clothing as if they were insane or going to a masquerade party.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.

dementedly (adverb), more dementedly, most dementedly
1. In an insane manner: Henry's mother could be heard screaming dementedly.
2. Relating to being unable to think or act clearly when someone is extremely worried, angry, or excited by something.
dementia (di MEN shuh, di MEN shee uh) (s) (noun), dementias (pl)
1. The loss, usually progressive, of cognitive and intellectual functions, without impairment of perception or consciousness; caused by a variety of disorders, (structural or degenerative) but most commonly associated with structural brain disease.
2. An acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning: Dementia is a dysfunction which is multifaceted and involves memory, behavior, personality, judgment, attention, spatial relations, language, abstract thoughts, and other functions.

The intellectual decline of dementia is usually progressive and it initially does not interfere with the level of consciousness.

dementia pugilistica (s) (noun), dementia pugilisticas (pl)
1. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (any degenerative disease of the brain): A dementia pugilistica is a syndrome resulting from cumulative head blows absorbed in the boxing ring, which is characterized by general slowing of mental function, occasional bouts of confusion, and scattered memory loss. It may progress to the more serious boxer's dementia.

2. Dementia resulting from cumulative damage sustained over some years in boxing, resulting in slowed thinking, memory loss, dysarthria (speech that is characteristically slurred, slow, and difficult to produce, and therefore difficult to understand), and other movement disorders: Dementia pugilistica, also called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome, boxer's dementia, and punch-drunk syndrome, is a neurological disorder which affects some career boxers and others who receive multiple blows to the head.
3. A condition seen in boxers (and alcoholics), caused by repeated cerebral concussions and characterized by weakness in the lower limbs, unsteadiness of gait, slowness of muscular movements, hand tremors, hesitancy of speech, and mental dullness: The condition of dementia pugilistica develops over a period of years, with the average time of onset being about sixteen years after the start of a career in boxing.
dementophobia (s) (noun), dementophobias (pl)
A fear of being or going insane: Those who suffer from dementophobia are afraid that they are losing contact with reality, members of their families, or friends.

Another reason someone might have dementophobia is because he or she has severe depressions, headaches, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

Pseudodementia or pseudoimbecility, based primarily on psychological factors.
Mens agitat molem.
Mind moves the mass.

Another version, "Mind animates matter." From the writings of Virgil; motto of the (Universitas Oregonensis) University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA; as well as, Rossall School, U.K.

Mens et manus. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Mind and hand."

A motto of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

Mens sana in corpore sano.
Translations: 1. "A sound mind in a sound body." -Juvenal
2. "A healthy mind in a healthy body."

Actually, the whole sentence is Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.: "You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body."

Juvenal, in his Satires, suggests to us that we must pray for attainment of mens sana in corpore sano, and his phrase has found use for many centuries as the stated educational goal of many schools: "To train the body as well as the mind."

Public statements by some near-illiterate college athletes suggest that the sound body is too often achieved without accompanying improvement of the mind.

—Partially based on information from
Amo, Amas, Amat and More by Eugene Ehrlich;
Harper & Row, Publishers; New York; 1985; pages 184-185.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving the "mind, mental" word units: anima-; anxi-; deliri-; hallucina-; moro-; noo-; nous; phreno-; psych-; thymo-2.