Did you know that many types of diseases affect the brain?
One of these diseases is dementia, which causes memory loss and confusion. Plenty of people have trouble differentiating the various types of dementia, and it’s essential to know how to protect yourself.
Regardless of age, everyone is at risk for dementia. So it is essential to keep your brain in good shape by juggling and to work out.
Let’s look at the different types of dementia, what causes them, and how you can slow their onset. Read on.
Table of Contents
Dementia is an umbrella term for various neurological disorders that affect how an individual thinks and behaves. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and affects millions of Americans.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty with language and problem-solving
- Difficulty with visuospatial abilities
- Changes in mood and behavior
Dementia affects an individual’s cognitive functioning, resulting in an impaired ability to work, communicate, and live independently.
Vascular Dementia is one of the different types of dementia and is caused by disruption to the brain’s blood supply. This usually results from a stroke.
It is the second most common type of dementia and can result in various symptoms and signs of dementia, such as:
- Memory lapses
- Personality changes
- Cognitive decline
Damage to the brain can cause changes in the person’s speech, behavior, and mobility.
Managing vascular dementia requires implementing lifestyle changes to reduce the risks and keep the existing symptoms under control. Medication, therapies, brain exercises, and social and occupational therapy all play an essential role in managing and living with dementia.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is one of the types of dementia and is named after the doctor who first identified it in 1912. It is caused by abnormal protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, which damage neurons in the brain and can appear in any form of dementia.
Symptoms of DLB can include:
- Fluctuations in alertness and attention
- Delusional thinking
- Memory Impairment
- Altered movement
- Visual hallucinations
Treatment may involve using drugs to reduce the symptoms and strategies to improve sleep, cognition, and mental health. It is essential to seek medical advice and, if needed, senior care if you or a loved one is showing any symptoms of dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia is a less well-known but still very real form of dementia that affects people from forty to sixty-five years of age. It causes people to have the following:
- Decreased ability to think and make decisions
- Causes personality changes
- Erratic behavior
- Speech problems
People with frontotemporal dementia tend to forget recent memories more quickly than other forms of dementia. They may also change their decision-making, acting impulsively or more recklessly than usual.
Patients may experience language changes, including difficulty understanding or finding the right words when speaking.
Mixed dementia is probably the most challenging form of dementia to diagnose, as it is caused by a combination of conditions rather than just one. Symptoms usually are as follows:
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty with everyday tasks
- Problem with language and communication
- Mood swings
- Severe disorientation
It can be more challenging to treat than just one type of dementia, as all the symptoms need to be considered, and medications need to be tailored. As with all forms of dementia, early diagnosis is vital to ensure the best treatment is prescribed.
Parkinson’s disease is one of several types of dementia that affect the elderly. It is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to the slow death of nerve cells, causing tremors, slow movement, muscle stiffness, and balance issues.
The main symptom of Parkinson’s are as follows:
- Abnormal posture
- Absence of facial expressions
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty with memory
- Changes in behavior
It is important to note that although Parkinson’s is considered a form of dementia, it is distinct from other types of dementia due to its movement-related symptoms.
Alcohol-related dementia, or Korsakoff’s syndrome, is a form of dementia caused or exacerbated by heavy or prolonged alcohol use. Korsakoff’s syndrome is characterized by the following:
- Memory Problems
- Difficulty forming new memories
- Personality changes
- Inability to concentrate
Damage due to alcohol-related dementia is usually permanent and worsens over time unless heavy drinking is stopped. Heavy drinking is an average of more than eight drinks per week for women and more than fifteen drinks per week for men.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. It is a type of dementia categorized as an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning that each person has a fifty percent chance of inheriting it from an affected parent.
- Motor and cognitive impairments
- Poor memory
- Impaired concentration
- Difficulty learning new information
HD is unique in that it has a known cause: a mutation in the gene responsible for coding for the huntingtin protein.
Treatment typically involves medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors, to help slow the progression of the disease, as well as supportive care to manage associated symptoms.
Don’t Forget to Know the Different Types of Dementia
The various types of dementia can affect people of any age and socioeconomic group. Each type is uniquely different and will require specialized care for each individual.
It is essential for anyone that suspects dementia in a loved one to speak with a trained medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. In this way, those affected can receive the best care possible.
If you or a loved one are affected by dementia, do not wait to seek support!
For more health advice, check out our other blog posts today!