If someone in your life gets diagnosed with dementia, they have a progressive and occasionally chronic brain condition that affects their thinking, behavior, and memory.
However, dementia isn’t a disease but a syndrome with symptoms similar to several brain diseases. In this article, we’ll look at the different types of dementia and how to identify them.
Types of Dementia
There are different types of dementia, and the patient’s treatment will be based on the type they have:
The World Health Organization estimates between 60% to 70% of dementia patients have this disease. Additionally, more than 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Its symptoms include:
- Problems speaking or writing
- Mood or personality changes
- Confused about where they are or what day it is.
Vascular dementia is caused by a major or minor stroke with symptoms depending on what part of the brain gets affected. While Alzheimer’s starts with memory problems, vascular dementia begins with poor decision-making or organizing.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Being confused or agitated
- Difficulty walking or having frequent falls
- Difficulty recognizing sights and sounds that were once familiar
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)
Lewy bodies are tiny deposits of protein that sometimes form in the brain. If you know someone who has DLB, it’s because these deposits have formed in their cortex. Symptoms of this illness include:
- Seeing things that aren’t there, i.e., visual hallucinations
- Periods of staring or “blanking out.”
- Difficulty thinking, paying attention, or making decisions
- Difficulty with movement, including slowness, trembling, or trouble walking.
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
Patients with the nervous system disorder Parkinson’s disease experience this type of dementia 50% to 80% of the time. On average, a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s starts experiencing symptoms of dementia after ten years.
It’s worth noting that this type of dementia is similar to DLB, and this is because they have the same symptoms, and people with both conditions have Lewy bodies in their brains.
This brain disorder is caused by a genetic defect passed down through family members. While someone might have the Huntington’s disease gene at birth, symptoms won’t appear until between 30 and 50.
Symptoms are similar to those seen in other forms of dementia, including difficulty with:
- Planning and organization
This disorder is caused by a huge body shortage of thiamine (vitamin B-1). It’s commonly seen in people who are long-term heavy drinkers.
The dementia symptom commonly associated with this condition is memory loss. In most cases, the person’s problem-solving and thinking skills are unaffected.
There are multiple medications and treatments for dealing with dementia. If you’re having or someone near you is experiencing any of these signs, please reach out to your primary healthcare provider for consultation and treatment options.