What You Might Not Know: The Many Types of Dementia

Dementia is a loss of cognitive functioning and behavioral abilities to the extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. There are many reasons why someone may develop dementia. The causes can vary depending on the type of changes occurring in the brain. Some conditions can be controlled and are referred to as reversible forms of dementia. Some of these conditions include:

  • Medication Reaction/Interactions
  • Various Infections
  • Nutritional or Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Metabolic/Endocrine Abnormalities
  • Anoxia: Lack of Oxygen
  • Brain Bleeds
  • Brain Tumors or Blood Clots in the Brain
  • Head Injuries such as a Concussion

These conditions can cause dementia symptoms that once treated can sometimes halt the progression of dementia or even result in the dementia symptoms being reversed.  Some other conditions that have been identified by professionals in the field that can cause dementia include:

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease – a rare brain disorder
  • Huntington’s Disease – a hereditary disorder caused by a faulty gene
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – caused by repeated traumatic brain injury
  • Subdural Hematoma – bleeding between the brain’s surface and its outer covering 

Sometimes the way symptoms manifest can make proper diagnosis of dementia difficult, which makes beginning your search for the right treatment and diagnosis even more important. Starting the treatment process early can help you and your family adjust to how to begin caregiving for your loved one with dementia, as there are also many types of irreversible or neurodegenerative forms of dementia including:

  • Vascular Dementia – created by damage to blood vessels, blockage or brain bleeds, cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
  • Parkinson’s Disease – which is hallmarked by uncontrollable movements that progresses into dementia
  • Lewy Body Disease – accompanies visual hallucinations and has abnormal protein deposits in the brain
  • Frontotemporal Degeneration – where you typically see personality changes and language difficulties first
  • Wernicke Korsakoff – typically due to prolonged misuse of alcohol with severe nutritional deficiencies

As we begin to notice signs of dementia it is important to be in touch with your medical professional and seek out the proper diagnosis. Seeking out support for you and your loved one is also something to consider during your search for an accurate diagnosis. Consider attending a dementia support group near you. The Tanglewood Group offers a Memory Care Support Group the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 2:00-3:30pm at Comfort Today. Please call for additional information (716) 488-9434.

 

*Information gathered from the National Institute on Aging