People often use the terms “Alzheimer’s” and “dementia” interchangeably. Because “Alzheimer’s” is a more familiar term than other types of dementia, adults often believe they are one and the same. While Alzheimer’s is the most common, there are many different forms of dementia.
If a senior loved one is exhibiting behaviors that have led their physician to suggest they might have dementia, it may help you to learn more about the different types of dementia and the symptoms associated with each.
Exploring the Different Types of Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia is the umbrella term used to describe a variety of neurodegenerative disorders. The most common types of dementia include:
Alzheimer’s Disease: It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Alzheimer’s is the leading form of dementia. Between 60 to 80% of all dementia diagnoses are for Alzheimer’s. Common symptoms include memory loss, agitation, difficulty with verbal communication, vision problems, and many more.
Vascular Dementia: Because heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke continue to rise in this country, vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted or slowed, the result can be a decline in cognitive function referred to as vascular dementia. The symptoms closely mirror those of a person with Alzheimer’s: forgetfulness, difficulty maintaining a conversation, and a change in disposition.
Parkinson’s Dementia: Over the last 30 years, the number of cases of Parkinson’s disease has climbed significantly. It has actually doubled in older men! As the disease progresses, people often develop Parkinson’s dementia. It is a condition that causes memory loss and a loss of judgment.
Dementia with Lewy-Bodies: Dementia with Lewy bodies affects 1.4 million people in this country. It occurs when protein deposits build up on nerve cells in the brain stem leading to memory loss, tremors, muscle rigidity, and behavioral issues. In some instances, treatment options may help slow the progression of the disease.
Huntington’s Disease: This type of dementia is the result of a genetic defect that runs in families. Huntington’s is tough for families to cope with as it causes mood swings, poor judgment, speech problems and depression. Medication can sometimes be successful in mitigating the psychiatric symptoms Huntington’s creates.
Fronto-temporal Dementia: Dementia that results from conditions that damage the front and side areas of the brain is known as Fronto-temporal dementia. The most common form is Pick’s disease. The primary symptom of this type of dementia is a loss of inhibition.
Mixed Dementia: This occurs when a person lives with several forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s combined with Vascular dementia is currently the most common form of mixed dementia.
Dementia Care at Elmcroft Senior Living
If your spouse or senior loved one has been diagnosed with some form of dementia, help is only a phone call away. Elmcroft Senior Living is a leading provider of dementia care across the country. Call the community nearest you to learn more!