Dementia is a brain disorder and isn’t a normal part of ageing. It is caused when brain cells die more quickly than in normal ageing. Over time, people with dementia experience a loss of memory and other mental abilities. It can be severe enough to interfere with daily life.
However, dementia and its effects can manifest differently in different persons. To better understand and manage the care of your loved one with dementia, start first by uncovering what form of dementia they have and understand the symptoms they experience.
There are 10 types of dementia:
- Starting from A, Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, where it causes the death of brain cells.
- Vascular Dementia is caused by the lack of blood flowing to the brain. It is the second most common form and can be related to stroke. It affects decision-making and ability to organize things.
- Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) causes memory loss and disorientation, trembling hands and walking difficulty. It shares many symptoms with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Parkinson’s Disease Dementia refers to a group of individuals whose dementia is caused by Parkinson’s Disease. This affects their ability to reason and judge, even resulting in hallucinations.
- Frontotemporal Dementia affects the front and side of the brain, areas which control the language and behaviour of the individual. It causes a loss of inhibition, repetitive and socially inappropriate behaviour.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is one of the rarest forms of dementia. The disease progression typically progresses faster than the other forms, with main symptoms being mental deterioration and involuntary muscle spasms.
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is caused by excess fluid and pressure on the brain. This extra pressure can cause damage to the brain, resulting in dementia. Early treatment intervention can potentially prevent further brain damage, even curing dementia.
- Huntington’s Disease is a genetic condition which causes the premature breakdown of the brain’s nerve cells. This can lead to an impairment of movement and dementia. Common symptoms of this form of dementia include impulse control problems, issues with speech and focusing.
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome starts with bleeding of the lower parts of the brain due to a lack of vitamin B1. It can lead to a memory disorder, where individuals experience poor memory and inability to learn new skills. A common cause of this is alcoholism.
- Mixed Dementia happens when the individual is diagnosed with more than one form of dementia. This form of dementia is rather common, especially with the combination of Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia forms.