Dementia: What Are The Main Types
While ageing, the brain encounters significant modifications. For example, from the age of 60, it slowly starts to shrink. Heart diseases and head traumas can also have an important effect on the brain, sometimes causing dementia. A persons family history also influences the occurrence of this kind of syndrome.
Dementia is a significant sign of progressive neurodegeneration. This causes the death of some brain cells as well as tissue loss. The most frequently affected areas are the memory, the thinking, the behaviour and the ability to do some tasks for the sick person.
Continue below to learn what are the five different types of dementia.
Less Common Types Of Dementia
Though they are much more rare, there are other types of dementia. 5% of all dementia cases in the UK are caused by rarer forms of dementia. It is thought that most forms of rare dementia are under-diagnosed in part because people do not know to look out for them. Some rarer forms of dementia have very specific symptoms that differ from other types of dementia.
Below you can find out more about rare types of dementia:
What Is Mixed Dementia
It is common for people with dementia to have more than one form of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, and have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease,vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death .
Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start and influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.
Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.
Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:
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What Types Of Dementia Symptoms Are Most Common
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms worsen over time. The most common sign of dementia is short-term memory loss, which leads to difficulty remembering:
- Where they place items
In the early stages of most dementias, symptoms arent severe and the individual can still function independently. Family members often have a relatively easy time caring for their loved ones with dementia at this point.
However, as dementia progresses, it can affect the individuals physical abilities, mood, and behavior. Eventually, most people with dementia need around-the-clock care as they lose their ability to dress, eat, and move around independently.
In this late stage of dementia, family members often require professional caregivers to provide care for their loved ones.
Different Types Of Dementia
Dementia is a word used to describe a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. There are a number of diseases that cause dementia.
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimers is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called mixed dementia.
Page last reviewed: 05/07/2018
Although often thought of as a disease of older people, around 4% of people with Alzheimers are under 65. This is called early-onset or young-onset Alzheimers. It usually affects people in their 40s, 50s and early 60s.
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Cortical And Subcortical Dementia
Medical professionals sometimes categorise dementia into cortical and subcortical dementia.
Cortical dementia is typically associated with the brains grey matter, which is the characteristic outer structures of the brain. These outer structures have an important role in processing information and in functions such as language and memory. Types of cortical dementia include Alzheimers, frontotemporal dementia, Binswangers disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Subcortical dementia initially affects structures below the cortex in the innermost parts of the brain known as white matter. These inner structures responsible for controlling the speed of thought processes and emotions. Types of subcortical dementia include Huntingtons disease, Parkinsons dementia, and AIDS dementia complex.
The progression of dementia is not necessarily affected by category or type, but a variety of factors including lifestyle, health and genetics.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy/brain Injury
Initial symptoms: Symptoms of brain injury include loss of consciousness, memory loss, personality and behavior changes, and slow, slurred speech.
Progression: While symptoms from a single concussion are often temporary and resolve with appropriate treatment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy typically develops over time from repeated head injuries and is generally not reversible. Later symptoms include poor decision-making ability, aggression, impaired motor function and inability to communicate effectively.
Prognosis: Life expectancy varies according to the severity of injuries.
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Other Forms Of Dementia
Unfortunately, there are many different types of dementia beyond the ones weve discussed. If you suspect a loved one has dementia, its important to get a proper diagnosis. That way, they receive the best treatment possible for their individual case.
What are some other dementia types that may or may not be affecting someone you love?
Mixed dementia, which involves more than one type of dementia, is common. There are also brain disorders that can cause memory loss and other function loss.
For example, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder often associated with dementia. Its a blend of Wernickes syndrome and Korsakoff syndrome.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is not a form of dementia. But it does cause problems with memory and information processing nonetheless.
Senior Living Options For Seniors With Dementia
The initial stages of dementia are not usually debilitating, and it can be relatively easy to care for yourself at home and bring in a caregiver when you need more help. However, dementia eventually progresses into more serious symptoms like inability to eat and walk, and assisted living may then be a better option to help you enjoy life with Alzheimers disease and other dementias.
Assisted living facilities that specifically provide care for those with dementia are called memory care centers. Memory care facilities provide medical care for people with dementia and other services including:
- Daily care in areas such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and eating
- Healthy meals, often designed specifically to be dementia-friendly, including fruits and vegetables recommended by top researchers to help fight cognitive decline
- Access to a wide variety of social activities, recreational activities, and specially designed areas to help people suffering from memory loss continue to engage in their lifelong passions like gardening, church, visiting local attractions, art, and more
- Housekeeping services
- 24-hour monitoring and a secured building to prevent wandering and other dangers
If youre ready to learn more about assisted living options for those living with a diagnosis of dementia, please reach out for information from our senior care experts here.
Causes Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills brain cells.
This can happen as a result of:
- narrowing and blockage of the small blood vessels inside the brain
- a single stroke, where the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off
- lots of “mini strokes” that cause tiny but widespread damage to the brain
Not everyone who has a stroke will go on to develop vascular dementia.
Read more about vascular dementia.
What Is The Most Common Form Of Dementia
The most common type of permanent dementia isAlzheimers disease, accounting for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Experts still arent sure what causes Alzheimers exactly, and theres also currently no cure.
With Alzheimers, changes in the brain begin by affecting a persons short-term memory. As a result, they have trouble remembering new information, like names and places. But like other forms of dementia, Alzheimers is a progressive disease, and its symptoms worsen over time.
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Dementia Caused By Huntingtons Disease
Huntingtons disease is an inherited degenerative brain disease that affects the mind and body. It usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50, and is characterised by intellectual decline and irregular involuntary movement of the limbs or facial muscles. Other symptoms include personality change, memory disturbance, slurred speech, impaired judgement and psychiatric problems.There is no treatment available to stop the progression of this disease, but medication can control movement disorders and psychiatric symptoms. Dementia occurs in the majority of people with Huntingtons disease.
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.
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What Is The Treatment For Dementia
Treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are limited. While there are medications available to try to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the effect of these medications is limited. Physical exercise has been shown to be of some benefit in helping to maintain cognition. Staying engaged and participating in social events may also be of some help. To date, no treatment which can reverse the process of Alzheimer’s disease has been identified.
What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Watch For
Now that you know the four common types of dementia, there are 10 early symptoms you should watch for if you begin to notice changes in your loved one. Noticing memory problems in your loved one doesnt immediately mean its dementia.
There needs to be at least two types of impairment that are significantly impacting the person: memory loss plus difficulty with communication, language, focus, or reasoning.
Here are 10 early symptoms of dementia to watch for:
If your loved one is beginning to experience these symptoms, talk to their doctor to rule out any other factors and get a proper diagnosis. An early diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial, so dont delay in getting help.
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Which Types Of Dementia Are Hereditary
Its true that genes might have a role in dementia, but the patterns of inheritance vary. Environmental and lifestyle factors also greatly affect our chances of developing a particular disease we may have inherited, so an active, healthy lifestyle is important to avoid many types of illness.
With that being said, current research shows that people who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimers are more likely to develop the disease than those who do not. There also is a difference between early-onset and late-onset, with the latter putting individuals at higher risk. Again, this research is still being developed and depends a lot on the health of the individual.
On the other hand, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and fronto-temporal dementia have not yet been linked to genetics in most cases. The genetic factors instead are linked more to the underlying causes of these dementias or the possibility of gene links to other aspects of these conditions. So out of the four common types of dementia, Alzheimers is the type with the most likely genetic link based on current research.
How Can You Cope With Being The Caretaker Of Someone With Dementia
It is important for someone who is the primary caregiver of a patient with dementia to have a strong network of support. This is needed both to aid in caring for the patient and to give the caregiver some intermittent relief. In the early stages, many caregivers function more as a helper or guide, providing reminders for different tasks. Later in the disease, caregivers may have to supply basic care to the patient, including assistance with bathing, dressing, and going to the bathroom.
Obtaining power of attorney status for financial and medical matters and determining when a patient is no longer able to perform certain activities, such as driving, are difficult but necessary actions. Local Alzheimer’s Association chapters are often helpful in completing these tasks. Enlisting the help of a patient’s physician or mandating an on-the-road driving assessment can place the responsibility of determining when a patient is no longer safe to drive on someone other than a caregiver or family member, as driving is often an action that many patients attempt to perform far past the time when it is safe to continue. There are many sources of assistance for caregivers of patients with dementia:
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver CenterAlzheimer’s Association
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How Many Types Of Dementia Are There
There are many different names for dementia, depending on how the disease affects the brain.
So, what different types of dementia are there?
The 10 types of dementia that most commonly appear in elderly adults are:
However, some of these types of dementia in the elderly are more likely to appear in your loved one than others.
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.
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Four Common Types Of Dementia
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The term dementia is an umbrella term used to describe the symptoms of cognitive impairment. And within the dementia umbrella, there are many different variations Alzheimers included. Most of us average folk dont realize that all dementia is not Alzheimers. In fact, I would venture to say that the regular layman isnt quite sure what the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia is. Dont fret Ill explain it here!
Learning the difference between the varying levels of memory loss can be crucial to know the dos and donts of dealing with behavior challenges. It will also come into play with understanding the levels of care that are available to fit your loved ones needs, so they can live more comfortably.
In this blog we will discuss the Top 4 most common types of Dementia. The good news for you is that at The Kensington, we are very experienced with these areas of Memory Care and more. We welcome everyone!
What Are The Risk Factors For Dementia
The risk factors for developing dementia include age and family history. Age and a family history of dementia are non-modifiable risk factors. Abnormal genes which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, but are only rarely involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes increase the risks of developing either Alzheimer’s disease or multi-infarct dementia. Some medications can lead to memory problems which look like dementia.
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Causes Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein that can develop inside brain cells.
These clumps damage the way the cells work and communicate with each other, and the brain cells eventually die.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely related to Parkinson’s disease and often has some of the same symptoms, including difficulty with movement and a higher risk of falls.
Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.