Types of Dementia: Alzheimer’s
Maybe you've hear about dementia on the news or friend was diagnosed. But do you know what dementia is? The word dementia refers to the loss of a person's cognitive functions. The term is used to describe the symptoms a person experiences when an illness or disease affects their mental skills, mental functions or their ability to carry out the activities of daily living. Dementia comes in ten different types. Each type of dementia has its own distinct symptoms and diagnosis.
Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting approximately one out of every twenty people between the ages of sixty-five to seventy-four and approximately half the population over the age of eighty-five.
Caused by poor blood flow to the brain, vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. When the flow of blood to the brain is impaired, it causes the brain cells to be deprived of the oxygen they need to function normally. Several causes of vascular dementia are stroke, hypertension and diabetes.
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Also known as NPH, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus results form the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid filling the cavities of the brain. The accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid puts pressure on the brain, causing interference with its normal functioning.
A thiamine deficiency is the cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. A deficiency of thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, can result from alcoholism, very high thyroid levels or malnutrition. Other possible causes include cancer spreading throughout the body and dialysis or diuretic therapy that is long-term.
Mild Cognitive Impairment
When a person suffers from Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, they typically experience a slow decline in mental functions. The person is generally aware of the changes that are taking place and may become depressed, aggressive or anxious as a result.
Creutzfeldt-Jacob Dementia, also known as mad cow disease and CJD, is a degenerative neurological disorder caused by viruses. The viruses affect the brain's ability to function normally, and the dementia worsens quickly.
A progressive type of dementia, Huntington's Disease is inherited and passed down through families. The disease causes nerve cells in the brain to degenerate, or waste away.
There are several different types of Frontotemporal Dementia with one of the most common being Pick's Disease. In instances of Frontotemporal Dementia, the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are damaged, causing personality and behavioral changes, followed by problems with speech and memory loss.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy Bodies is also known as Lewy Body Disease and DLB. This type of dementia results from Lewy bodies, which are deposits of abnormal proteins, accumulating in the nerve cells of the stem of the brain.
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
A neurological condition that is chronic and progressive, Parkinson's Disease sometimes results in dementia. This type of dementia, known as PDD, is also a type of Lewy body dementia, which typically causes problems with speech, memory, judgment and reasoning.
Learn even more about the different types of dementia in the LoveToKnow dementia overview.