Dementia is a condition that results in severe mental impairment. It’s a progressive disease that worsens over time without treatment. However, many types of dementia affect older adults, each with different symptoms and causes. This article will explore the different types of dementia in older adults and how they may present themselves differently.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia is a form of dementia that causes problems with thinking, memory, and movement. It’s caused by Lewy bodies – abnormal protein deposits in nerve cells. These deposits cause the progressive decline in thinking ability associated with this type of dementia. People with Lewy body disease may change their sleep patterns, including waking up multiple times during the night or having trouble falling asleep at all. They may also experience visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there), which can sometimes be frightening for them or others around them to witness.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that occurs when the brain begins to age. It’s one of the most common causes of dementia and can be diagnosed in older adults who have trouble remembering things or performing daily tasks.
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, but it is believed that genetics play an important role in its development. There are two types: early onset (before 65 years old) and late-onset (after 65). Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease tends to run in families; however, genetic testing cannot predict whether you will develop this form. Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease does not seem to be inherited by children from their parents. Instead, it develops later in life due to other factors, such as lifestyle choices like diet or exercise habits, affecting how fast our brains age.
Vascular dementia is a type of dementia caused by brain damage caused by strokes and other blood vessel diseases. In these cases, the brain loses its ability to control memory and thinking skills because of blocked or damaged blood vessels that supply oxygen to parts of your brain.
Vascular dementia usually affects both sides of the body equally (bilateral). It can also affect one side more than another if there is damage just on one side before it spreads to both sides (unilateral).
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD)
Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) is a form of dementia that occurs in people with Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis can be challenging, partly because there are no specific symptoms and partly because the symptoms are similar to those associated with other forms of dementia.
PDD usually develops in people over 50 with Parkinson’s for around five years or more. The risk increases if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes and have been exposed to toxins such as carbon monoxide.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
Frontotemporal dementia is a brain illness that affects both the frontal and temporal lobes. The frontal lobe controls planning, organization, judgment and impulse control; while the temporal lobe is responsible for memory and language skills.
In FTD, these regions of your brain are damaged by abnormal tau protein deposits that damage or kill nerve cells in those areas. This can lead to problems with attention span and decision-making as well as personality changes like being socially inappropriate or rude outbursts due to what’s known as disinhibition syndrome (DS).
There are two types of frontotemporal dementia:
- Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) – Symptoms include changes to personality, behavior, and social interactions
- Semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA) – This form affects language skills such as speaking fluently or understanding what others are saying
Dementia is a condition that affects the brain. People with dementia have problems with their memory, language, and other mental functions. It can be a very difficult condition to live with as it can affect your ability to do everyday tasks like dressing yourself or cooking meals. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are concerned about your loved one’s memory loss or other symptoms.