What Are The Types Of Dementia
Dementias are often broken down into two main categories — Alzheimer type or non-Alzheimer type. Dementias of the Alzheimers disease type are defined by the symptoms of memory loss plus impairment in other brain functions, such as language function inability to move the muscles associated with speech or perception, visual or other inabilities to recognize speech or name objects .
Non-Alzheimer dementias include the frontotemporal lobar degenerations, which are further broken down into two main types. One type primarily affects speech. An example is primary progressive aphasia syndromes. The other type is defined by changes in behavior, including lack of feeling, emotion, interest or concern loss of a social filter personality change and loss of executive functions . In both of these frontotemporal lobe dementias, memory loss is relatively mild until later in the course of the disease.
Other non-Alzheimers disease dementias include vascular disorders , dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s dementia, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.
Unsanitary Condition Of Living
A dementia patient cannot take care of himself and needs constant help to perform every task. As a result, their lifestyle becomes unsanitary. Sometimes their wounds remain unaddressed, which causes blood infection.
Moreover, they suffer from skin diseases caused by unchecked pests or molds in the house. As the patient lacks the awareness of self-cleaning, he stays in that condition which causes death.
What Are The Treatments For Dementia
There is no cure for most types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Treatments may help to maintain mental function longer, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow down the symptoms of disease. They may include
- Medicines may temporarily improve memory and thinking or slow down their decline. They only work in some people. Other medicines can treat symptoms such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and muscle stiffness. Some of these medicines can cause strong side effects in people with dementia. It is important to talk to your health care provider about which medicines will be safe for you.
- Occupational therapy to help find ways to more easily do everyday activities
- Speech therapy to help with swallowing difficulties and trouble speaking loudly and clearly
- Mental health counseling to help people with dementia and their families learn how to manage difficult emotions and behaviors. It can also help them plan for the future.
- Music or art therapy to reduce anxiety and improve well-being
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Where To Get Help
- Your local community health service
- Your local council
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care Tel. 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres Tel 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
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.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
As we age, many of us experience lapses in memory. It can be worrying and confusing to realize that something you once took for granted isnt working as well as it used to. But not all memory changes indicate dementiaand dementia impacts more than just memory. Symptoms can also affect visual and spatial skills, executive functioning, language, and mood or personality. To meet the diagnostic criteria for dementia, youd need to experience difficulties in at least one of those areas in addition to memory loss.
Common signs and symptoms include:
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.
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Isnt Dementia Part Of Normal Aging
No, many older adults live their entire lives without developing dementia. Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as:
- Occasionally misplacing car keys
- Struggling to find a word but remembering it later
- Forgetting the name of an acquaintance
- Forgetting the most recent events
Normally, knowledge and experiences built over years, old memories, and language would stay intact.
Other Types Of Dementia
Other conditions that contribute to dementia include:
- Mixed dementia: This happens when several conditions contribute to your dementia. Alzheimers disease, Lewy body conditions, and vascular conditions may all be present in a case of mixed dementia.
- Huntingtons disease: This genetic condition causes damage to nerve cells in your spine and brain. You may start to notice symptoms of dementia and cognitive decline after you turn 30 if you have it.
- Parkinsons disease: The damage to your nerves caused by Parkinsons can cause dementia.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: This brain condition is thought to be caused by problems with your brain proteins or by contact with brain or nerve tissue that carries a disease. Symptoms dont often appear until after you turn 60.
These conditions are often caused by a mix of risk factors, including family history and lifestyle choices. Huntingtons disease can only be passed through families and cant be developed if you dont have the genes for it.
Some risk factors for dementia cant be controlled, including:
- your age, as your risk increases after you turn 65
- losing your memory naturally as you age
- Down syndrome, which often causes early onset dementia
- your genes, as a family history of dementia can increase your risk of developing dementia
Other risk factors may respond to lifestyle changes or treatment. These include:
- drinking a lot of alcohol
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How Do I Know I Have It
There are many symptoms of dementia, according to the CDC, with many of them outlined above. The most common are memory loss, issues with paying attention, communication problems, reasoning, judgment, and problem solving issues and visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision.
Specific signs that can point to dementia include getting lost in a familiar neighborhood, using unusual words to refer to familiar objects, forgetting the name of a close family member or friend, forgetting old memories, or not being able to complete tasks independently.
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.
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Distinctive Features Of Human Language
A number of features, many of which were described by and called set human language apart from communication used by non-human .
Communication systems used by other animals such as or are closed systems that consist of a finite, usually very limited, number of possible ideas that can be expressed. In contrast, human language is open-ended and , meaning that it allows humans to produce a vast range of utterances from a finite set of elements, and to create new words and sentences. This is possible because human language is based on a dual code, in which a finite number of elements which are meaningless in themselves can be combined to form an infinite number of larger units of meaning . However, one study has demonstrated that an Australian bird, the , is capable of using the same acoustic elements in different arrangements to create two functionally distinct vocalizations. Additionally, have demonstrated the ability to generate two functionally distinct vocalisations composed of the same sound type, which can only be distinguished by the number of repeated elements.
Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies is the third most common cause of dementia.
Lewy bodies are tiny, round clumps of protein that build up inside brain cells. They stop brain cells from working properly, causing dementia symptoms such as memory loss. They can cause other problems too, such as hallucinations , slowed stiff movements and changes with sleep, causing people to talk or move about in their sleep.
People with DLB often have big differences between their good days and bad days. On bad days, they may be much more confused and less alert.
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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 .
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.
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Support Groups And Counseling For Caregivers
Caring for a person with dementia can be very difficult. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial status, social life, and physical and mental health. You may feel unable to cope with the demands of caring for a dependent, difficult relative. Besides the sadness of seeing the effects of your loved one’s disease, you may feel frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may, in turn, leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression in caregivers is not uncommon.
Different caregivers have different thresholds for tolerating these challenges. For many caregivers, just “venting” or talking about the frustrations of caregiving can be enormously helpful. Others need more but may feel uneasy about asking for the help they need. One thing is certain, though: If the caregiver is given no relief, he or she can burn out, develop his or her own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.
This is why support groups were invented. Support groups are groups of people who have lived through the same set of difficult experiences and want to help themselves and others by sharing coping strategies. Mental health professionals strongly recommend that family caregivers take part in support groups. Support groups serve a number of different purposes for a person living with the extreme stressof being a caregiver for a person with dementia.
Here Are The Top Contributing Factors
According to the CDC, there are many risk factors of dementia.
Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to develop dementia.
Family history: Dementia runs in the family, according to the CDC. “Those who have parents or siblings with dementia are more likely to develop dementia themselves,” they explain.
Race/Ethnicity: According to the CDC, older African Americans are twice more likely to have dementia than whites, while Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely to have dementia than whites.
Heart Health: Those with poor cardiovascular health are more likely to develop dementia. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking can all play a role.
Traumatic Brain Injury:“Head injuries can increase the risk of dementia, especially if they are severe or occur repeatedly,” the CDC says.
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What Are Potentially Treatable Causes Of Dementia
The dementia in treatable conditions may be reversible or partially reversible, even if the underlying disease or damage is not. However, readers should note that if underlying brain damage is extensive or severe, these causes may be classified as irreversible by the individual’s physician.
There is no specific test for dementia. However, dementia may be diagnosed if at least two of the following core mental functions are significantly impaired, according to some researchers:
- Attentiveness/focus on a problem or subject
- Visual perception
In some people, the signs and symptoms of dementia are easily recognized in others, they can be very subtle. A careful and thorough evaluation is needed to identify their true cause.
An assessment of dementia symptoms should include a mental status evaluation. This evaluation uses various “pencil and paper,””talking,” and physical tests to identify brain dysfunction. A more thorough type of testing, performed by a psychologist, is called neuropsychologic testing.
Lab tests may be used to identify or rule out possible causes of dementia.
In some cases, imaging studies of the brain may be necessary to detect conditions such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor, or infarction or bleeding in the brain.
Writing Literacy And Technology
Throughout history a number of different ways of representing language in graphic media have been invented. These are called .
The use of has made language even more useful to humans. It makes it possible to store large amounts of information outside of the human body and retrieve it again, and it allows communication across physical distances and timespans that would otherwise be impossible. Many languages conventionally employ different genres, styles, and registers in written and spoken language, and in some communities, writing traditionally takes place in an entirely different language than the one spoken. There is some evidence that the use of writing also has effects on the cognitive development of humans, perhaps because acquiring literacy generally requires explicit and .
The invention of the first writing systems is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the in the late . The archaic and the are generally considered to be the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from 3400 to 3200 BC with the earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BC. It is generally agreed that Sumerian writing was an independent invention however, it is debated whether Egyptian writing was developed completely independently of Sumerian, or was a case of . A similar debate exists for the , which developed around 1200 BC. The are generally believed to have had independent origins.
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Research Into The Cause Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most commonly diagnosed type of dementia, and may account for 15 – 20% of all cases. Vascular dementia is caused by chronic reduced blood flow to the brain, usually as a result of a stroke or series of strokes. It can often coexist with Alzheimer’s disease.
Stroke, small vessel disease, or a mixture of the two can cause vascular dementia. Most commonly there is a blockage of small blood vessels somewhere in the network of arteries that feeds the brain. Blockages may be caused by plaque build up on the inside of the artery wall, or by blood clots which have broken loose. Clots can form as a result of abnormal heart rhythms, or other heart abnormalities. Also, a weak patch on an artery wall can balloon outward and form an aneurysm, which can burst and deprive brain cells of oxygen.
It is estimated that about 50% of cases of vascular dementia result from high blood pressure, which can lead to a major stroke or a series of strokes and a build up of brain damage over time. Less common causes of vascular dementia are associated with autoimmune inflammatory diseases of the arteries such as lupus and temporal arteritis, which are treatable with drugs that suppress the immune system.
An inherited form of vascular dementia known as CADASIL is caused by a mutation on the Notch3 gene. This is a very rare form of dementia and only affects families carrying the Notch3 gene mutation.