Dementia Types – The Facts

August 13, 2007 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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By Kevin McNally

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common dementia type with over 50% of cases reported. Dementia types will share common themes but each one does have slightly different factors that effect the brain.

Dementia types include

AIDS related dementia
Alcohol related dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, has two forms:
Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD), also known as Early Onset Alzheimer’s or Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease, also known as Late Onset Alzheimer’s.

Dementia with Lewy bodies: this dementia type is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

Down syndrome: Some Research has established a link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer%u2019s disease.

Frontal lobe dementia, including Pick’s disease.

Vascular Dementia: The second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease.

To understand dementia types we need to explain these terms in more detail.

Vascular Dementia was previously known as multiinfarct dementia. Vascular Dementia is associated with problems in the circulation of blood to the brain causing a deterioration of mental abilities as a result of multiple strokes, or infarcts, in the brain. These strokes may cause damage to specific areas of the brain responsible for speech or language as well as producing generalized symptoms of dementia. Alzheimers Disease and Vascular Dementia can be hard to separate in many stages as they both contribute to dementia.

Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system, people suffering from this condition will possibly show stiffness in their joints, slurred speech and general difficulty in movement. Late in the course of the disease, some people may develop dementia. Drugs are available to treat this condition but do carry some heavy side effects which may worsen the condition in the short term.

Lewy Bodies Dementia

This dementia type is related to tiny spherical structures called Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of the brains. Some research has concluded these may contribute to the death of brain cells. People who suffer from lewy bodies dementia can also show major adverse effects on some medications.

Picks Disease

This dementia type is most common for 40-65 year olds and will often cause personality disturbances effecting language and behaviour, in many cases more severe than the memory defects.

Picks disease is a rare disorder affecting the front part of the brain and will result in progressive decline of the sufferer’s abilities over a number of years.

Huntingtons Disease

Huntingtons Disease is an inherited degenerative brain disorder which affects the mind and body. Most common in 30-50 year olds. Huntingtons Disease is characterized by involuntary movement of the limbs or facial muscles. Other symptoms may include personality change, psychiatric problems and memory problems. Medication can help some of these symptoms although there is no medication that can halt the long term progression at this stage.

Alcohol Related Dementia: Korsakoffs Syndrome

This dementia types is preventable. The most crucial parts of the brain can be adversely effected by long term alcohol abuse.

Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease – Mad Cow Disease

An extremely rare and fatal brain disorder that only effects one in every million at the moment. This dementia type can be found in animals and humans and was widely publicized in the 1980’s in the Uk with the outbreak of Mad Cows disease

Mild Cognitive Impairment

The term Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, might represent some kind of “transitional stage” between normal aging and dementia. Progression from one to another may be very slow and as a result some people may die of natural causes before experiencing Alzheimers disease.

Kevin McNally offers Alzheimers articles and resources at Alzheimers disease and treatment

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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