Dementia types: Alzheimer's and vascular dementia symptoms explained | Health | Life & Style - World Big News

Dementia types: Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia symptoms explained | Health | Life & Style

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Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia which can be caused by a stroke or dementia with Lewy bodies. Frontemporal dementia and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease are also forms of dementia. But what are they, how are they caused and what are the symptoms?

Alzheimer’s disease

What is it?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting an estimated 500,000 people in the UK.

It is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time.

The disease causes a loss of connection between nerve cells in the brain which can also lead to a loss of brain function.

Current research argues the disease is caused by a built up of proteins in the brain which are commonly known as ‘plaques’.

Symptoms

The earliest symptoms of the disease are lapses in memory – which caused by damage to the hippocampus, the centre of emotion, memory, and the nervous system.

People with the disease can also struggle with planning, get confused about the time of day or lose track of time.

It can also cause personalities to change, react in unexpected ways and cause people with the disease to repeat themselves.

Dementia symptoms: Five types of dementia explainedGETTY

Dementia symptoms: Five types of dementia explained

Vascular dementia

What is it?

Vascular dementia is a form of dementia which affects more than 150,000 people in the UK, however it can affect people in different ways – with symptoms developing suddenly after a stroke, or more gradually after an illness.

Symptoms occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with blood supply to the brain.

It can be caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels inside the brain, or a stroke, which causes the blood supply to the brain to be cut off, usually as a result of a blood clot.

While not everyone who has a stroke will develop vascular dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society said one in five people who have a stroke will develop post-stroke dementia within the following six months.

The condition can be caused by a series of mini strokes which cause damage to the brain.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected.

A person in the early stages of vascular dementia may also have difficulties with memory, language and the ability to perceive objects properly.

Mood changes can also be a key symptoms of the condition. Some people experience mood swings – rapidly becoming unhappy or tearful. It is not uncommon for some to experience depression or anxiety as a result of the illness.

Dementia symptoms: Five types of dementia explainedGETTY

Dementia symptoms: Memory loss is a sign of dementia


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia


Dementia with Lewy bodies

What is it?

Dementia with Lewy bodies – also known as DLB is a type of progressive dementia, which means it gets worse over time.

It shares some of the same symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease – both neurodegenerative conditions.

The first symptoms of DLB can be fairly slight but can get worse and affect begin to affect people on a day to day basis.

The condition is believe to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK.

Symptoms

Symptoms include problems with memory and judgement, feeling faint and developing tremors and slow movement.

It can also cause disrupted sleep and changes to people’s sleeping patterns.

Dementia symptoms: Five types of dementia explainedGETTY

Dementia symptoms: Five types of dementia explained

Frontotemporal dementia

What is it?

Frontotemporal dementia is one of the less common types of dementia.

The condition is sometimes called Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia.

The condition occurs when nerve cells in the frontal lobes of the brain die, and the pathways which connect these lobes change. As more nerve cells die, the brain tissue in the lobe shrinks.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is damaged.

The most common is behavioural variant FTD which can cause people to lose inhibitions, lose interest in people or things, lose symptoms, show repetitive behaviour or crave fatty or sweet foods.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

What is it?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is caused by a protein which infects the brain. It is believed to affect one in one million people every year.

Recently, experts found CJD was caused by eating meat from cattle infected with BSE – which typically affected younger adults.

The disease usually progresses after a few months.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the condition can start with lapses in memory, muddled, slower speech or unsteady walking. The disease can cause incontinence and loss of the ability to move or speak.