Types of DementiaExperts estimate that Alzheimer’s disease is the underlying cause of the majority of dementia cases. However, there are many other conditions which can also cause dementia making it vital for the patient to obtain accurate diagnosing of dementia early on in order to get proper treatment.

Health care professionals need to know the symptoms a person is experiencing, their duration, frequency and rate of progression. Daily caregiver notes, activity logs and medication monitoring can be extremely helpful tools to provide accurate and up to date information.

Types of Dementia Include:

Alzheimer’s Disease

The most common cause of dementia accounting for an estimated 60% to 80% of all cases. About 1/2 of these cases involve only Alzheimer’s but many have evidence of changes related to other dementias, which is called “Mixed Dementia” Difficulty remembering names or events or recent conversations is often an early sign or symptom. Depression and apathy are also often early symptoms. Later symptoms include impaired communication, disorientation, confusion, poor judgment, behavior changes. Later stage symptoms include difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia, is caused by poor blood flow to the brain, which deprives brain cells of the nutrients and oxygen they need to function normally. One of the ten dementia types, vascular dementia can result from any number of conditions which narrow the blood vessels, including stroke, diabetes and hypertension.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)

Sometimes referred to as Lewy Body Disease, this type of dementia is characterized by abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies which appear in nerve cells in the brain stem. These deposits disrupt the brain’s normal functioning, impairing cognition and behavior and can also cause tremors. DLB is not reversible and has no known cure.

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PD)

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological condition. In its advanced stages the disease can affect cognitive functioning. Not everyone with Parkinson’s disease develops dementia. Dementia due to Parkinson’s is also a Lewy body dementia. Symptoms include tremors, muscle stiffness and speech problems. Reasoning, memory, speech, and judgment are usually affected.

Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) Dementia

Pick’s disease, the most common of the frontotemporal dementia types, is a rare disorder which causes damage to brain cells in the frontal and temporal lobes. Pick’s disease affects the individual’s personality significantly, usually resulting in a decline in social skills, coupled with emotional apathy. Unlike other types of dementia, Pick’s disease typically results in behavior and personality changes manifesting before memory loss and speech problems.

Mixed Dementia

Dementia can be caused by more than one medical condition. This is called mixed dementia. The most common form of mixed dementia is caused by both Alzheimer’s and vascular disease.

Creutzfeldt-Jacob Dementia (CJD)

CJD is a degenerative neurological disorder, which is also known as mad cow disease. The incidence is very low, occurring in about one in one million people. There is no cure. Caused by viruses that interfere with the brain’s normal functioning, dementia due to CJD progresses rapidly, usually over a period of several months. Symptoms include memory loss, speech impairment, confusion, muscle stiffness and twitching, and general lack of coordination, making the individual susceptible to falls. Occasionally, blurred vision and hallucinations are also associated with the condition.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)

Normal pressure hydrocephalus involves an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s cavities. Impaired drainage of this fluid leads to the build-up and results in added pressure on the brain, interfering with the brain’s ability to function normally. Individuals with dementia caused by normal pressure hydrocephalus often experience problems with ambulation, balance and bladder control, in addition to cognitive impairments involving speech, problem-solving abilities and memory.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Dementia can be due to medical illness, medications and a host of other treatable causes. With mild cognitive impairment, an individual will experience memory loss, and sometimes impaired judgment and speech, but is usually aware of the decline. These problems usually don’t interfere with the normal activities of daily living. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment may also experience behavioral changes that involve depression, anxiety, aggression and emotional apathy; these can be due to the awareness of and frustration related to his or her condition.

Top-Rated Home Care and Support for Dementia & Alzheimer’s Patients

Dementia Helpers offers specialized home care and support services to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients throughout Chicago and the North Shore suburbs including both Cook County and Lake County. We provide our in-home dementia care and specialized memory care services to residents of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Grayslake, Gurnee, Highland Park, Fort Sheridan, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnwood, Lincolnshire, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Round Lake Beach, Skokie, Vernon Hills, Wilmette and Winnetka.

We are backed with the resources of one of America’s largest and most trusted home care service organizations.