The Different Types of Dementia

Aug 22, 2022 | Blog

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability due to disease or injury. It affects memory, thinking, and judgment. It can also result in changes in mood and behavior. A person with dementia may have trouble remembering familiar people, places, or things. Dementia affects people of all ages but is most common among the elderly. This is because the risk of dementia goes up with age. 

Different types of dementia can affect people in different ways. Some types are more common than others, and some cause more serious symptoms than others. Here are some of the different types of dementia:

The Different Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. It usually starts with mild memory problems and can eventually lead to total cognitive decline and a loss of the ability to communicate.

Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, there are treatments available that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers. With early diagnosis and treatment, people with Alzheimer’s can maintain their independence and live fulfilling lives.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for around 20% of cases. It occurs when there is damage to the brain’s blood vessels, resulting in a reduction in blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This can lead to problems with thinking, memory, and movement.

The symptoms of vascular dementia tend to develop suddenly and get worse over time, in contrast to the gradual decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular dementia is often accompanied by other medical conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. There is no single test for diagnosis and it can be difficult to distinguish from other types of dementia, so a combination of medical history, physical examination, brain imaging, and neuropsychological testing is usually required.

There is no cure for vascular dementia, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition. These include medications, lifestyle changes, and rehabilitation programs.

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a type of dementia that affects elderly adults. It is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies, which are abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These Lewy bodies are composed of proteins that can damage neurons and lead to cognitive decline. 

There are two types of Lewy body dementia: diffuse and limbic-predominant.

Diffuse Lewy body dementia (DLBD) is the most common type, accounting for about 70% of all cases. In DLBD, Lewy bodies are found throughout the brain.

Limbic-predominant Lewy body dementia (LPLD) is less common, accounting for about 30% of all cases. In LPLD, Lewy bodies are found primarily in the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus and amygdala. These areas of the brain are important for memory and emotion.

Symptoms of Lewy body dementia can vary depending on which area of the brain is affected. However, common symptoms include problems with memory, movement, mood, and sleep.  The exact cause of Lewy body dementia is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for Lewy body dementia, but treatments are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a degenerative brain disorder that typically affects people over the age of 60.   FTD is a degenerative disorder that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are responsible for language, behavior, and emotion. People with FTD may have trouble with speech and language, become more impulsive or aggressive, and experience changes in their personalities. FTD is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time.

FTD is considered to be a spectrum of disorders, with three primary subtypes: primary progressive aphasia (PPA), semantic dementia (SD), and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD).

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is characterized by a gradual decline in language skills, with symptoms including difficulty speaking and understanding speech, reading comprehension problems, and trouble finding the right words. Semantic dementia (SD) is marked by a loss of knowledge about words and concepts, as well as changes in behavior. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia  (bvFTD) is characterized by changes in personality and behavior, such as impulsivity, disinhibition, and apathy.

While there is no cure for FTD, early diagnosis and treatment can improve the quality of life and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options include medications to manage symptoms, speech and language therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, and counseling.

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) is a type of dementia that affects people with Parkinson’s disease. It is characterized by problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Parkinson’s disease dementia typically affects older adults, and it can be very debilitating.  People with PDD may have difficulty remembering recent events, trouble concentrating, and changes in their personality. PDD is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time. Making everyday activities difficult or even impossible.

There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that can help to improve symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. If you are concerned about Parkinson’s disease dementia, be sure to talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in the quality of life for those affected by this condition.

There are many different types of dementia, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. It is important to understand the different types of dementia and how they progress. This will help you to know what to expect and how to best care for your loved one. It is also important to build a support network of family, friends, and professionals who can offer help and advice when needed.

If you are concerned about dementia, Covenant Caregivers is a leading provider of dementia care services. We offer a wide range of services to help people with dementia live as independently as possible. If you or someone you know is suffering from dementia, we can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or your loved one.

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