The Eight Types of Dementia
Dementia is defined as a progressive state of mental deterioration characterized by memory problems or confusion. There are multiple causes of dementia, all leading to the destruction of brain cells. The common causes are enumerated below:
- Alzheimer’s Disease- The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of cases. Symptoms include difficulty remembering names or recent events, impaired judgement and disorientation, and confusion.
- Vascular Dementia- When the brain is subject to decreased blood flow, the cells are impaired. This is often a result of strokes that block crucial arteries.
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies- Lewy bodies (alphasynuclein deposits) form inside nerve cells in the brain, leading to hallucinations, tremors, and alertness issues.
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus- A buildup of fluid in the brain causes difficulty walking, memory loss, and incontinence. This form of dementia can be corrected by draining the excess fluid.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment- A form of dementia that is not severe enough to interfere with daily life. Some may recover and revert to normal cognitive functioning.
- Frontotemporal Dementia- Pick’s disease, for example, causes damage to brain cells in the front and side regions of the brain. This causes changes in personality and difficulty with language.
- Parkinson’s Disease- Often, Parkinson’s damage leads to dementia in later stages.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease- A rapidly fatal disorder, Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a result of eating meat tainted with Mad Cow Disease. When the prion protein in the brain misfolds, coordination and memory are impaired.
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