Types of Dementia

Overview

Memory loss is terrible thing for a person to go through, regardless of age. Dementia interferes with a persons’ ability to remember simple things like their name, family and friends. Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not part of the normal aging process. Dementia is not only associated with memory loss but also loss of speech, decision making and reasoning with there being multiple types of Dementia. Dementia cannot be cured but with certain treatment, it can be improved overtime. Declining mental health is the most common effect of dementia, regardless of the type of dementia a person has.

Types of Dementia

Types of Dementia

There are over 100 different types of dementia. The following list is composed of the most common types of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease- More than 75% of dementia patients have Alzheimer’s disease. People with this disease tend to have trouble walking, performing daily tasks, using their motor sills and have depression.

  • Vascular dementia: Aside from Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. The lack of blood flow to the brain can occur at any age and is often associated with strokes.
  • Parkinson’s disease: This disease sees an onset of dementia as the Parkinson’s progresses. Hallucinations, confusion and loss of vision are all common signs of dementia.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: Pick’s disease, also known as frontotemporal dementia, occurs when the front and side sections of the brain begin to deteriorate or become damaged. This type of dementia can occur in patients with blunt trauma to the head. This type of dementia runs in families due to a gene mutation that causes compulsive actions and forgetfulness.
  • Mixed dementia: This form of dementia involves a mixture of different types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. As this disease progresses, a person’s speech and motor skills begin to drastically change for the worse.

Causes and Symptoms

Dementia is often known as the old person disease, but that it not completely true. There are many events or situations that can cause dementia to occur. Some of the most common causes of dementia is degenerative neurological diseases such as Huntington’s diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Serious brain injuries can cause long term problems with memory loss. Meningitis and HIV can attack the nervous system which can cause dementia. Other causes of dementia may include: drug use, alcohol abuse, blood disorders and fluid in the brain.

During a person’s lifetime, the symptoms of dementia can pop up sporadically or occur at any given moment. It is common for people to go through moments of forgetfulness, but there can be a problem when this simple act begins to interfere with daily activities. The symptoms associated with different types of dementia may include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confused
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Uncontrol of Bowel or Bladder
  • Sensitivity
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty with speech

Diagnosis

Diagnosing any form of dementia can be tricky, especially depending on the age. One of the first things that doctors will do to decide if a form of dementia is present is go through a series of physical and mental evaluation. Doctors will ask a set of questions on a person’s medical history, decision-making questions and language to determine if there are any problems with the patients response. If there are any concerns during the exam, then brains scans are performed such as an MRI or CT scan. The only way to confirm a dementia diagnosis is through a brain tissue biopsy.

Types of Dementia

Treatment

Depending on the type of dementia a person has been diagnosed with, there are different treatment plans. Some of these treatment methods involve: antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, tranquilizers and anticonvulsants. Unfortunately, there is no therapy or medication that allows dementia to go away or reverse the damage. As time progresses, living alone does not become a viable option for people suffering from dementia. Luckily, there is usually a family member, friend or facility that is willing to step up and help people with dementia.