Did you know that over 55 million people worldwide live with dementia? Even though dementia mainly affects people over 65, it is not a normal part of aging.
Dementia has a significant impact on the physical, social, and psychological aspects of life, not only for the person with dementia but for family members too.
It’s essential to get educated on the types of dementia, as well as the treatments available, so you can help those who need it the most.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about the different types of dementia as well as the symptoms, causes, and treatments.
What Is Dementia?
The term dementia describes specific symptoms that affect thinking, memory, and social abilities. Over time, dementia causes a deterioration in cognitive function that eventually severely impacts your daily life.
Eventually, the capacity to learn, make sound judgments, and control emotions begin to lapse, and people even lose the ability to care for themselves properly.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is caused when there is damage to the nerve cells and connections in the brain. Protein build-up in the brain is also a common cause of certain types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Certain neurodegenerative diseases can cause lead to dementia, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Certain types of multiple sclerosis
In addition, conditions that affect the circulation in your brain can lead to dementia. A traumatic brain injury, central nervous system infections, or long-term alcohol use can also lead to dementia.
Sometimes some conditions lead to dementia that resolves once the condition is treated. Certain vitamin deficiencies, low blood sugar, tumors, or substance abuse can cause imbalances in the body, causing dementia.
Symptoms of Dementia
Symptoms of dementia vary depending on the severity and type of dementia. Most often, the first sign of dementia is memory loss. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty communicating and finding the right words to say
- Getting lost easily in familiar locations
- Difficulty solving problems
- Difficulty with complex tasks
- Confusion and disorientation
- Personality changes
People also often experience agitation, hallucinations and start to behave inappropriately. If you notice you’re having trouble remembering things, it’s essential to see your doctor and find out the cause.
Types of Dementia
One of the most common kinds of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. With Alzheimer’s disease, the connections between the cells in the brain are lost, and as a result, they begin to shrink and die.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia where Lewy body proteins. Lewy body dementia affects both the brain and body. It causes muscle weakness, rigidity, and severe memory impairment.
Other types of dementia include:
- Huntington’s disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Parkinson’s disease dementia
- Vascular dementia
- Creutizfeldt-Jakob Disease
Most of the time, there is no cure for dementia, but treatments are available to improve symptoms and improve quality of life. Medications like Exelon work by boosting up the chemicals for memory and judgment.
Other medications work to enhance memory, as well as medications to treat symptoms like depression and insomnia.
A crucial part of treatment is occupational therapy, changing the environment to reduce clutter, and finding support. Programs like Rare Dementia Support offer social, emotional, and daily living support services for people living with certain types of dementia.
Hope for Dementia
A dementia diagnosis is life-changing, but there is help out there available for all types of dementia. Remember, you aren’t alone, and there are plenty of reasons to stay positive and hopeful.
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