The word dementia refers to the group of diseases that are characterized by memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem solving and frequent changes in mood or behavior. Initially, these changes take time to begin but as this disease progresses, it negatively affects the quality of life and interferes with the working of daily activities.
There are more than 100 types of dementia and some of the common types are as follows:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and it is characterized by the progressive decline in the cognitive function. It is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys the thinking and memory skills to such an extent that a person find it difficult to do their every day tasks. It affects people’s memory and it is far more than simple forgetfulness.
Alzheimer’s disease is different from normal age related decline in cognitive function as age related decline is more gradual and associated with less disability. Alzheimer’s disease often begins with mild symptoms and ends with severe brain damage. The development of this disease is due to the injury and death of neurons initiating in the hippocampus brain that involves memory and learning.
2. Vascular dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease and it occurs when the blood flow is reduced. Sometimes, vascular dementia is also known as vascular cognitive impairment. The symptoms that occurs in patients having vascular dementia are similar to that of Alzheimer's disease such as problems with thinking skills, movement problems, personality changes and bladder problems. As this disease progresses, the symptoms of this disease worsens to such an extent that the patients need help with normal activities such as eating. Vascular dementia is of two types:
- Stroke related dementia - Stroke is a common in vascular dementia and it occurs when there is an interruption in the supply of blood to the part of the brain. The clot is formed in the brain or sometimes in the heart which is then carried to the brain. This clot blocks the blood vessels in the brain.
- Subcortical vascular dementia - This type of vascular dementia occurs when some changes occurs to the blood vessels deep inside the brain. Most often, these changes are ignored by an individual but with time it leads to damage to the brain.
3. Mixed dementia
Mixed dementia is a condition which is characterized by abnormal characteristics of one or more type of dementia. Most often, abnormal protein deposits due to the Alzheimer’s disease coexists with the blood vessel problem that is associated with vascular dementia. The symptoms of mixed dementia vary from person to person as it depends on region of the brain that is affected. Generally, the symptoms are similar to that of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Dementia with lewy bodies
Dementia with lewy bodies is a complex and a common type of brain disorder. It is a challenging disorder that affects many parts of the brain and it occurs due to the abnormal deposit of the proteins known as lewy bodies inside the brain’s nerve cells. Dementia with lewy bodies quickly progresses and the symptoms of this disease include changes in thinking and reasoning, short term memory impairments, visual hallucinations and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
5. Frontotemporal dementia
Frontotemporal dementia is a rare type of dementia and and it occurs when the nerve cells in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain damages and ultimately die. When the lobes are damaged it causes symptoms like personality changes, behavioral changes and difficulties with language.
Causes of dementia
The risk of developing dementia increases when certain changes occur in the brain. As this progresses, the structure and chemistry of the brain changes and as a result the cells of the nerves die. As more and more cells die, the more damage occurs in the brain.
Although, the exact cause of these changes are known yet, various studies believe that environmental and genetic factors play an important role in the development of this disease.
Dementia is a serious brain disorder and requires immediate treatment. Share this post with your family and friends to create awareness. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!