Updated: Feb 21
People often misunderstand that Alzheimers is one form of dementia. But did you know there are different types of Dementia? Often confused as a disease, it is a symptom of a disease itself. Below is a list of the differing types of Dementia.
AGE RELATED DEMENTIA - there is no underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as "age-associated memory impairment," which is considered a part of the normal aging process
MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT- (MCI) have problems with memory, language, thinking or judgement that are greater than the cognitive changes associated with normal aging & increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.
MIXED DEMENTIA - Mixed dementia has characteristics of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. A person has both evidence of cardiovascular disease and dementia symptoms that get worse slowly.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE— Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia; accounts for an estimated 60 to 80 percent of cases.
VASCULAR DEMENTIA— Previously known as multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia, vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.
DEMENTIA WITH LEWY BODIES (DLB) - People with dementia with Lewy bodies often have memory loss and thinking problems common in Alzheimer's but are more likely than people with Alzheimer's to have initial or early symptoms such as sleep disturbances, well-formed visual hallucinations, and slowness, gait imbalance or other parkinsonian movement features.
PARKINSON'S DISEASE—As Parkinson's disease progresses, it often results in a progressive dementia similar to dementia with Lewy bodies or Alzheimer's.
Frontotemporal DEMENTIA - Frontotemporal dementia includes dementias such as behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD). With this form of dementia, a person may have symptoms such as sudden onset of memory loss, behavior changes, or difficulties with speech and movement. Unlike Alzheimer's disease, which generally affects most areas of the brain, frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for a group of rare disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain – the areas generally associated with personality and behavior.
CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (Mad Cow disease) - CJD is the most common human form of a group of rare, fatal brain disorders affecting people and certain other mammals. Variant CJD ("mad cow disease") occurs in cattle and has been transmitted to people under certain circumstances.
NIEMANN-PICK disease type C—The dementia-related symptoms are characterized by initial impairments in executive functions such as dis-inhibition, inflexibility of thinking, poor judgement, lack of insight, inability to understand abstract concepts; poor attention and mental slowing followed by increasing difficulty with short-term memory and learning
CORTICOBASAL DEGENERATION — CBD is a rare form of dementia that is caused by an overproduction of a protein in the brain called tau. People with CBD can experience movement difficulties such as rigidity, lack of coordination, and limb dystonia. Symptoms of CBD typically experience difficulties with recalling words, simple calculations, carrying out a plan, praxis and slow or slurred speech. Visual spatial disorientation can be seen as a feature of this disease.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY —TBI - A TBI is also referred to as an acquired brain injury or a repeated head trauma. “Dementia pugilistica” and “punch-drunk syndrome” are two of the terms used to describe a TBI that is caused by the repeated brain damage that can result from involvement in contact-heavy sports like boxing or football
PROGRESSIVE SUPRANUCLEAR PALSY—PSP can be confused with Parkinson’s disease and Corticobasal Degeneration because some symptoms, the stiffness and slow movements, can resemble some of the common characteristics of these other neuro degenerative diseases. Unlike Parkinson’s disease, tremor is not seen. Early symptoms of this disease may be related to a person’s increased difficulty with walking and balance, often resulting in frequent falls
POSTERIOR CORTICAL ATROPHY—PCA is a rare form of dementia that is caused by the abnormal accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. This build-up of plaques and tangles causes areas of the brain to become increasingly damaged and to shrink (atrophy) over time. is responsible for processing visual information, PCA may significantly impair a person’s visual functioning. Since the presence of plaques and tangles in the brain is also a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS—Symptoms of MS can include visual loss, limb weakness, poor balance, difficulty walking, chronic pain, bladder and/or bowel dysfunction, fatigue, numbness, tremors and depression.
NORMAL PRESSURE HYDROCEPHALUS— Symptoms include difficulty walking, memory loss and inability to control urination.
HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE— Huntington's disease is a progressive brain disorder caused by a single defective gene on chromosome 4
WERNICKE-KORSAKOFF SYNDROME - Korsakoff syndrome is a chronic memory disorder caused by severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B-1). The most common cause is alcohol misuse