Dementia is an umbrella term for describing a cluster of progressive neurological conditions that affect the cognitive process, behavior, memory, and personality in some cases.
It affects all aspects of the patient’s life, including the physiology of their brain, which makes it hard for them to cope without the help of a caregiver or support group like the NDIS provider Sydney
Dementia is a syndrome that causes severe damage to the brain, which becomes worse over time. Medication can reduce the rate of cognitive decline and help manage symptoms.
The effects of dementia on the brain are irreversible, except in the case of dementia caused by depression and alcohol misuse.
Types of Dementia
There are over 100 forms of dementia, and each follows its unique pattern of progression. Most dementia patients are diagnosed with one of the four listed below.
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal deposit of protein-based amyloid plaques and tau tangle throughout the brain’s neural network.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 50 percent of dementia patients.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are
- Memory loss at the onset
- Inability to plan and carry out familiar tasks.
- Poor judgment
- Mood and personality changes
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s. It is caused when conditions like stroke and blood clots disrupt blood flow to the brain.
Symptoms of Vascular Dementia
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Inability to recall present and past events)
- Inability to follow instructions
- Poor teachability
- Poor judgment
- Inability to walk without falling
Lewy Body Dementia (DLB)
DLB is caused when abnormal deposition of a protein called Lewy bodies in the brain affects the brain’s neurotransmitter activities. The brain cortex is severely impaired in DLB.
Symptoms of Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- The symptoms are impairment in the cortex-related function.
- Sleep disorder
- Visual hallucinations
The accumulation of abnormal quantities of tau and TAR DNA-binding protein in the neurons of the frontal and temporal lobes causes frontotemporal dementia.
Symptoms of Frontotemporal Dementia
- Behavior and planning problems like impulsive behavior, emotional flatness, or heightened emotion.
- Movement problems like hand tremors and gait and balance problems.
- Communication and language problems such as inability to communicate and understand sentences.
Other Types of Dementia
- Mixed dementia
- Huntington’s dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Risk Factors of Dementia
Risk factors of dementia are areas of a person’s lifestyle, environment, and genetic characteristics that increase their chance of developing dementia.
Top Risk Dementia Risk Factors
- High blood pressure
- Multi sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Down syndrome
Typical Age for Dementia Diagnosis
- Alzheimer’s disease is usually diagnosed around the mid-30s to 60s.
- Vascular dementia is around 65 and above.
- Lewy body dementia is diagnosed between the age of 50 and above.
- Frototemporal dementia is between 45 and 64.
Treatment for Dementia
The cure for dementia has not been found yet. And no treatment plans exist to stop the progressive nature of the disease. However, medications can help reduce the progression speed and stabilize memory and cognitive functions.