Dementia is the progressive decline of cognitive function due to organic damage to the cerebellum and the supratentorial region of the brain. Areas particularly affected include memory, attention, judgment, language, and problem-solving. Thus, neuropsychological findings will include the progressive deterioration of both short and long-term memories.

Short-term memory loss in cases of superficial siderosis can be traced to stress, depression, and cerebellar difficulties. A diagnosis of short-term memory loss or mild cognitive impairment does not mean you have early-stage dementia or will ever progress to dementia. Dementia is an infrequent occurrence in infratentorial superficial siderosis. It’s estimated only 25% of superficial siderosis patients with both hemosiderin located in the supratentorial region of the brain combined with severe cognitive difficulties will progress into clinical dementia.²


The key distinction between other cognitive problems and dementia is the ability to function independently on a daily basis. Memory, executive thinking, and social behaviors become so compromised in later stages of dementia it will interfere with your ability to function. People will show difficulty in finding words, reasoning or problem-solving, handling complex tasks, planning, and organizing, coordination, and motor functions, confusion and disorientation.¹

Behavioral Signs of Dementia

  • Extreme Personality Changes
  • Clinial Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inappropriate Behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Decreased verbal fluency

Care Plan

Your neuropsychologist will be able to recommend the necessary care plan in coordination with your primary care physician.


¹  Dementia signs and symptoms, Dr. Rachel Fazio, Neuropsychologist
Sources: Superficial siderosis is a rare neurologic disease characterized by progressive sensorineural hearing loss, cerebellar ataxia, pyramidal signs, and neuroimaging findings revealing hemosiderin deposits in the spinal and cranial leptomeninges and subpial layer. The disease progresses slowly, and patients may present with mild cognitive impairmentnystagmus, dysmetria, spasticity, dysdiadochokinesia, dysarthriahyperreflexia, and Babinski signs. Additional features reported include dementia, urinary incontinence, anosmia, ageusia, and anisocoria. Superficial siderosis MedGen UID: 831707 •Concept ID: CN226971 •Finding Orphanet: ORPHA247245
Living With SuperficialSiderosis Website PubMed Reference Library 
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