Think of dementia is the main topic with subtopics being things like Alzheimer’s, Lewy Bodies, Parkinson’s, and vascular dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s counts for as many as 8 out of 10 cases of dementia. Vascular dementia is the second most common form.
With many different types of dementia, it’s important to understand how they differ. Here are some of the most common forms and what you should know about them.
The most common dementia form progresses over a span of years. If it’s diagnosed before the age of 65, it’s called early-onset Alzheimer’s. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms. Confusion, mood swings, delusions, and disorientation are common in the latter stages.
This is a rare dementia that occurs when proteins known as prions morph into a new shape. It progresses quickly. The main symptoms are changes to the mood, depression, mobility issues, stiff muscles, and cognitive loss.
Frontotemporal disorder occurs when the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain experience nerve cell decline. It affects judgment, emotions, and behavior. It’s usually diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 60.
A defective chromosome 4 gene causes Huntington’s disease. It’s typically discovered by the time someone is 50. Mood, mobility, and memory are all affected.
Korsakoff syndrome occurs when the body doesn’t get enough vitamin B1. It’s usually linked to AIDS, alcoholism, cancer, or malnutrition.
Lewy Body Dementia
A protein known as alpha-synuclein causes the blockages linked to Lewy Body. There are researchers who think Lewy Body and Parkinson’s may be linked by these protein blockages. In addition to cognitive decline, Lewy Body affects posture and movements.
Mixed dementia is a term used when a patient has more than one type of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease doesn’t always lead to dementia. It’s estimated that about 5 to 8 out of 10 Parkinson’s patients end up with dementia. The disease first affects the area of the brain that controls movements. Tremors and shaking are common. Stiff muscles and difficulty walking are also common.
Vascular dementia occurs when blood flow to the brain decreases. It prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain cells. It’s common after a stroke and may be a severe case or a mild one.
When a parent has any form of dementia, home care is essential. You can try to provide the care on your own, but you need help. Caring for a parent with dementia every hour of the day will lead to burnout. Call a home care agency to talk about part-time caregivers and respite care.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.