The 10 Types of Dementia
The Alzheimer’s Association explains that dementia is an all-encompassing term that covers a number of different diseases. “Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.” (ALZ) There are actually numerous different types of dementia that especially affect elderly individuals. And the illnesses are common reasons why seniors need to spend time in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. To help you better understand dementia, here are the 10 different forms that can appear in anyone. And, remember that dementia is not considered a normal sign of aging. It is an illness that will not affect every single elderly individual.
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
This is the most common of the forms of dementia, making up between 60 and 80 percent of cases. It involves lack of memory, depression, apathy, difficulty with speech and writing. In later forms, the patient may have trouble performing even basic tasks.
2. Vascular Dementia
This is a form of dementia that occurs after a stroke and can be caused by microscopic bleeding in the brain, affecting thinking ability and some physical functions.
3. Dementia with Lewy Bodies
This presents similar to Alzheimer’s, but it can also cause hallucinations and muscle rigidity. It comes from clumps of proteins forming abnormally in the brain.
4. Mixed Dementia
This is actually a form of dementia when more than one type of the condition is happening in the brain, and that means it can show different symptoms from each type.
5. Parkinson’s Disease
This is a progressive dementia that causes problems with muscle control and movement. It has to do with clumps called alpha-synuclein forming in the brain and causing the lack of dopamine production.
6. Frontotemporal Dementia
This is a category of a few different forms of progressive dementia that affect behavior. People may change in personality and behavior and they may have a great deal of trouble with speech and language.
7. Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease
This is an actual brain disorder that is fatal and very rare. It progresses rapidly and results in lack of coordination, loss of memory, and behavior issues.
8. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
This is caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain and can affect the patient in a number of ways, including difficulty walking, loss of memory, and inability to control the bladder.
9. Huntington’s Disease
This brain disorder is progressive and comes actually from a defective gene. It causes involuntary movement, inability to think and reason, irritability, and a variety of different mood changes.
10. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
This is a chronic disorder that affects the memory but not thinking and social skills. It is often caused by alcohol abuse.
If you have an elderly loved one with one of these forms of dementia, then a nursing home may be a good option for their care. Learn more about Alzheimer’s in detail by reading this article (Things to Know about Alzheimer’s), and find out more about common health problems in seniors by reading this article (Seven Common Health Problems of Aging Seniors).
Tags: Memory Care