Types of Dementia
Dementia is not one condition. It is a term that describes is a group symptom characteristic of one or more neurodegenerative symptoms occurring when brain cells stop working correctly.
Dementia describes severe brain changes affecting the brain and these changes make it difficult to perform daily activities and causes changes in personality and behavior.
The changes happen inside specific parts of the brain affecting the thinking process, memory and the ability to communicate.
8 Types of Dementia
What causes dementia? There are various conditions which contribute to the development of dementia.
The different types of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Currently, more than 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, this according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The condition is more common in in older adults, and 10 percent of adults over 65 have Alzheimer’s.
The early symptoms of dementia include mood changes, forgetting names, and recent events. As the brain cells start to die, a loved one with dementia may start to have trouble walking and talking.
according to the Alzheimer’s Association, vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. This condition is caused by the lack of blood flow to the brain.
Symptoms of vascular dementia can appear suddenly or gradually. They can be related to age or a cardiovascular event, such as a stroke.
Early signs of vascular dementia may include:
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Vision changes
More advanced symptoms include troubling completing tasks, concentrating for long periods, vision loss, and hallucinations.
People with advanced Parkinson’s eventually develop dementia. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, more than 10 million people in the world are living with Parkinson’s disease.
The earliest signs of Parkinson’s are problems with reasoning and judgment. It involves difficulty understanding visual information or remembering how to do simple tasks.
Parkinson’s disease may also cause:
- Trouble speaking
The causes of Parkinson’s are unknown, but many researchers think genetics and environmental factors might be to blame.
Lewy Body Dementia
According to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 1.4 million people in the United States live with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).
The symptoms of LBD may be mistaken for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, which may mean too many people are underdiagnosed and many doctors are unfamiliar with this condition.
LBD is caused by protein deposits in the nerve cells that interrupt chemical brain messages and cause memory loss and confusion.
It may also cause symptoms of:
- Visual hallucinations
- Sleep problems
- Hand trembling
- Trouble walking
Next page: Learn about the 4 different types of dementia including Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.