What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment
Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:
- Getting lost easily
- Noticeably poor performance at work
- Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
- Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
- Losing or misplacing important objects
- Difficulty concentrating
Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.
Treatable Causes Of Dementia
There are many conditions that can cause dementia-like symptoms that can sometimes be stopped or even reversed with treatment. These conditions include:
- Side effects of certain medicines
- Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- Certain vitamin deficiencies
- Blood clots, tumors, or infections in the brain
- Delirium, a sudden state of confusion and disorientation
- Head injury, such as a concussion from a fall or accident
- Thyroid, kidney, or liver problems
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain
Talk with your doctor if you experience serious memory problems or other symptoms of dementia. A proper diagnosis is important to getting the right treatment.
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There Are Five Different Types Of Dementia
Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia
Drugs approved for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease, are discussed below. These drugs are also used to treat people with some of the other forms of dementia.
- cholinesterase inhibitors
- NMDA receptor antagonist memantine
These two classes of drugs affect different chemical processes in the brain. Both classes have been shown to provide some benefit in improving or stabilizing memory function in some patients. Although none of these drugs appear to stop the progression of the underlying disease, they may slow it down.
If other medical conditions are causing dementia or co-exist with dementia, the appropriate drugs used to treat those specific conditions are prescribed.
Can Dementia Be Prevented
Although dementia cannot be prevented, living a health-focused life might influence risk factors for certain types of dementia. Keeping blood vessels clear of cholesterol buildup, maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, staying at a healthy weight basically, staying as healthy as one can can keep the brain fueled with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its highest possible level. Specific healthful steps you can take include:
- Follow a Mediterranean diet, which is one filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts, beans, olive oil and only limited amounts of red meats.
- Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Keep your brain engaged. Solve puzzles, play word games, and try other mentally stimulating activities. These activities may delay the start of dementia.
- Stay socially active. Interact with people discuss current events keep your mind, heart, and soul engaged.
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Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy Bodies is another common form of dementia. It is caused by a build up of proteins called Lewy Bodies in the body. Lewy Bodies are also what cause Parkinsons disease, which is why both illnesses share the symptoms of reduced mobility and a shuffling walk. DLB also causes significant mental decline associated with the other major types of dementia, including lapses in memory and forgetfulness.
Read more about Dementia with Lewy bodies, including symptoms and treatments, in our Guide to Lewy Body Dementia.
Dementia Is The Umbrella Term For A Number Of Neurological Conditions Of Which The Major Symptom Includes A Global Decline In Brain Function
It is a condition that has been noted in people for hundreds of years.
Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society. It was not until the mid 1970s that dementia begun to be described as we know it today.
We now know dementia is a disease symptom, and not a normal part of ageing.
There are over 100 diseases that may cause dementia. The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Although the risk of getting dementia increase as we age, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia. The term younger onset dementia is used to describe any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65. To find out more go to the younger onset dementia hub.
Visit the pages below to learn more about the causes of dementia:
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What Are The Different Types Of Dementia
Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.
The five most common forms of dementia are:
- Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
- Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
- Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
- Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
- Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.
Common Types Of Dementia
Most people diagnosed with dementia have one of 4 common types: Alzheimers Disease, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. These types of dementia have slightly different symptoms and causes. You can find out more about each type below, and from our dedicated guides to each of these common types of dementia.
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Symptoms Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Diagnosing any type of dementia is difficult, but there are many cornerstone symptoms that help achieve an accurate diagnosis. In Lewy body dementia, the most prevalent symptoms include:
- Disrupted sleep- often this is the first sign to look out for further symptoms in years to come. Affected individuals will physically act out dreams, moving while sleeping and sometimes hitting their partners in their sleep.
- Difficulty with problem-solving abilities such as putting together a puzzle
- Lowered inhibitions
- Visual hallucinations and sensory disturbances
- Tremors and Parkinsonism often occurs last in LBD, which includes loss of balance
- Blood pressure can drop with LBD, causing fainting spells
- Bladder issues and incontinence
To diagnose someone with Lewy body dementia based on symptoms alone, at least two of these symptoms must be present, including dementia. New research has provided insight into brain scans to more accurately diagnose LBD and other brain disorders in a clinic.
Duration Of Stages: How Long Do The Stage Of Alzheimers / Dementia Last
No two people with dementia experience the disease exactly the same way, and the rate of progression will vary by person and type of dementia. In addition, it is not uncommon for individuals to have mixed dementia, meaning they have more than one type. That said, there is a natural course of the disease, and over time the capabilities of all persons with dementia will worsen. Eventually, the ability to function goes away. Keep in mind that changes in the brain from dementia begin years before diagnosis, when there are no outward symptoms. This makes it difficult to know how much time a person has left, though there are ways to come close to knowing life expectancy.
|Life Expectancy by Dementia Type|
|2 to 8 years following pronounced symptoms|
Mild DementiaIn this early stage of dementia, an individual can function rather independently, and often is still able to drive and maintain a social life. Symptoms may be attributed to the normal process of aging. There might be slight lapses in memory, such as misplacing eyeglasses or having difficulty finding the right word. Other difficulties may include issues with planning, organizing, concentrating on tasks, or accomplishing tasks at work. This early stage of dementia, on average, lasts between 2 and 4 years.
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The Three Most Common Types Of Dementia And Their Differences
Dementia is a disease that affects millions of seniors in the US every year, causing irreversible loss of memory and functioning. Caregivers of loved ones suffering from dementia should know that there are several different types of the condition, each with its own unique symptoms, as well as some similarities across the board. It can be difficult to determine what type of dementia you or your loved one may be experiencing, and the only way to accurately diagnose any disease is to speak with your doctor.
The three most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimers Disease
Read on to learn more about these types of dementia and their symptoms and treatment.
Memory Loss Or Dementia
In short, dementia, whatever the type, is characterized by various symptoms like memory losses, learning difficulties, language troubles, confusion, mood and personality changes, bad decisions, difficulty in thinking, depression, loss of interest for some activities, etc. Thus, we cant only consider memory disorders to determine if a parent is affected by Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia. In fact, cognitive problems associated with memory may, sometimes, have another origin, like drugs interaction, drinking alcohol, depression, thyroid problems or a lack of vitamins.
If you think one of your parents suffers from Alzheimer of dementia, it is better to visit a doctor, specialized in geriatrics for example. Tell them about the behaviours and troubles that seem to touch the concerned person, in this way the doctor will be able to determine if it actually is dementia, and what type it is. Then they will direct you towards adapted treatments or approaches.
About Visavie Home Care Services
Since 1994, Visavie offers seniors in-home care services to preserve their autonomy and especially, continue to take advantage of the comfort of their home.
Besides, researches have shown that for a person with Alzheimers disease, remaining in a familiar surrounding helps manage the challenges related to memory loss.
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Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of 2 proteins called amyloid and tau.
Deposits of amyloid, called plaques, build up around brain cells. Deposits of tau form “tangles” within brain cells.
Researchers do not fully understand how amyloid and tau are involved in the loss of brain cells, but research into this is continuing.
As brain cells become affected in Alzheimer’s, there’s also a decrease in chemical messengers involved in sending messages, or signals, between brain cells.
Levels of 1 neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, are particularly low in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicines like donepezil increase levels of acetylcholine, and improve brain function and symptoms.
These treatments are not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but they do help improve symptoms.
Read more about treatments for dementia.
The symptoms that people develop depend on the areas of the brain that have been damaged by the disease.
The hippocampus is often affected early on in Alzheimer’s disease. This area of the brain is responsible for laying down new memories. That’s why memory problems are one of the earliest symptoms in Alzheimer’s.
Unusual forms of Alzheimer’s disease can start with problems with vision or with language.
Read more about Alzheimer’s disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia
Early symptoms of dementia include :
- Forgetting recent events or information
- Repeating comments or questions over a very short period of time
- Misplacing commonly used items or placing them in usual spots
- Not knowing the date or time
- Having difficulty coming up with the right words
- Experiencing a change in mood, behavior or interests
Signs that dementia is getting worse include:
- Ability to remember and make decisions further declines
- Talking and finding the right words becomes more difficult
- Daily complex tasks, such as brushing teeth, making a cup of coffee, working a tv remote, cooking, and paying bills become more challenging
- Rational thinking and behavior and ability to problem solve lessen
- Sleeping pattern change
- Anxiety, frustration, confusion, agitation, suspiciousness, sadness and/or depression increase
- More help with activities of daily living grooming, toileting, bathing, eating is needed
- Hallucinations may develop
The symptoms mentioned above are general symptoms of dementia. Each person diagnosed with dementia has different symptoms, depending on what area of the brain is damaged. Additional symptoms and/or unique symptoms occur with specific types of dementia.
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What Causes These Brain Changes
Depending on the type of dementia, the changes in the brain causing dementia symptoms vary.
Alzheimers, for example, is caused by abnormal proteins in the brain that damage cells and disrupt cell communication.
Lewy body dementia is also caused by abnormal proteins, but the types and location of these proteins in the brain can change the symptoms a person may experience.
Treatment For These Four Types Of Dementia
There is currently no cure for these types of dementia, but some treatments are available. Speak with your doctor to find out what might work best for you.
Living with dementia can be challenging, but there are ways to manage it. Learn more about the types of dementia and other conditions that can cause dementia.
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Mortality Due To Any Cause
All-cause mortality rates increase with age. In 20132014, for Canadians with dementia, the rate was 75.5 deaths per 1,000 population in the 6569 years age group, and it reached 207.2 deaths per 1,000 population in the 85 years and older age group. However, as the overall mortality among Canadians with and without dementia increases later in life, mortality rates between the two groups tend to converge. In other words, the all-cause mortality rate ratios decrease with age. In 20132014, the rate ratio was 7.6 in the 6569 years age group, and it decreased to 2.9 in the 85 years and older age group.
Since 20032004, all-cause mortality rates have decreased among all Canadians. Among Canadians with dementia however, rates decreased at a slower pace. This is illustrated by the increasing rate ratios between 20032004 and 20132014. In 20132014, the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate was about four times higher among seniors with dementia compared to those without .
Figure 2: Age-standardized all-cause mortality rates and rate ratios among Canadians aged 65 years and older with and without diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, Canada, 20032004 to 20132014
Text description: Figure 2Figure 2: Age-standardized all-cause mortality rates and rate ratios among Canadians aged 65 years and older with and without diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, Canada, 20032004 to 20132014