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5 Types of Dementia and Ways to Prevent Them


 Quite a few people tend to describe a significant decrease in cognitive functioning of a person as dementia but are unaware that there are actually several different types of this disease, which are characterized by different factors and treatment methods.

 

Today, the most common and widespread type is Alzheimer's, which is the most studied, while others are left gray, making it very difficult to identify and treat them before it is too late. That's why it's time to get to know the five different types of dementia and the most effective symptoms and preventative measures that will protect you and your loved ones.

Dementia

1. Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. The disease breaks out when the blood vessels supplying oxygen to the brain are blocked or hardened, which can cause cerebral brain death in the cognitive region, and may lead to memory, reasoning or logic problems, and in more complicated cases it can even result in death. It is also important to note that heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking increase the risk of developing dementia of this type by many percentages because all these factors contribute to the formation of arterial infarcts and to the blood vessel problems that damage brain cells responsible for essential cognitive functions.

Common symptoms:

  • Planning and organizational issues
  • Difficulty in making decisions and problem-solving
  • Difficulty following several steps (cooking a meal through a recipe)
  • Problems of concentration and sudden confusion
  • Difficulty in speech

Ways to Prevent Vascular Dementia:

Deniz Erten-Lyons, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Oregon for Health and Science, explains that the best way to avoid obstruction or blockage of blood vessels is to maintain cholesterol levels and stable blood pressure. As evidence, in a 1998 study, patients who received blood pressure lowering therapy reduced their risk of dementia by 50%. In addition, as noted above, smoking and foods that contribute to the formation of diabetes should be avoided to reduce the risk of vascular injury. If you have recently been blood tested for high cholesterol levels, you can use these 11 effective tips to lower your cholesterol, which will bring you back to your best.

2. Dementia with Lewy bodies

Dementia with Lewy bodies is manifested in lumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which accumulate in the cortex, leading to loss of memory and difficulty in thinking, similar to Alzheimer's disease. However, dementia with Lewy bodies is different from Alzheimer's in that it often involves sleep disorders, hallucinations and muscle stiffness similar to Parkinson's disease.

Professor Lyons says that a person with dementia of this type finds it hard to interpret what they see as a result of decreased brain functioning. She adds that patients with dementia with Lewy bodies may get lost while driving or going to the bathroom because places and roads they knew before don’t seem familiar to them anymore. There is great difficulty in treating this type of dementia because drugs designed to fight hallucinations can worsen memory problems, and the treatment of physical symptoms can worsen cognitive problems.

Common symptoms:

  • Disruptive thinking and logic
  • Confusion and lack of alertness
  • Hunched posture, balance problems, and stiff muscles
  • Hallucinations and illusions
  • Difficulty interpreting visual information
  • Significant memory loss
  • Sleep Disorders

Ways to Prevent Dementia with Lewy Bodies:

Professor Lyons says that in a case like dementia with Lewy bodies, one should strive to develop the brain as much as possible. It is therefore important to adopt different hobbies and maintain a level of education by reading, memory games and the like, which may help ward off the symptoms of all types of dementia. Read about 9 exercises you can do to improve brain performance. In addition, you can enjoy 12 great apps that will keep your brain in great shape.

Dementia

3. Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by cognitive decline, which is expressed initially in memory loss, and it intensifies and affects other functions that are damaged by neuronal degeneration of the brain. To date, there is no single factor that affects the risk of developing the disease. There are a number of options that increase the chances of getting the disease, such as sex (women suffer more from the disease), age (common in the elderly), high blood lipids, high blood pressure, smoking, and repeated head trauma.

Common symptoms:

Alzheimer's disease is a disease whose symptoms are exacerbated in the following stages:

  • Mild/Early stage: Difficulty in short-term memory and abstract thinking.
  • Moderate/Middle stage: Difficulty in orientation in space and motor and mental slowness.
  • Severe/Late stage: Difficulty in logical thinking and difficulty in carrying out complex daily activities such as bathing, dressing, identifying people and more.
  • Final stage: Inability to identify familiar people, lack of control over bladder and bowels and the ability to walk starts to wane. In most cases, this stage will end in a state of total lack of communication and inability to act independently.

Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease:

There are quite a few changes you can adapt to your lifestyle that will help you prevent Alzheimer's disease, so it's important that you get to know them and ways of identifying Alzheimer’s early on.

 

4. Frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia accounts for about 10% of all dementia cases. This dementia is characterized by degeneration of nerve cells in the frontal region, or in the temporal lobe of the brain, and is usually a genetic disease. According to the National Institute on Aging, dementia may appear differently in the brains of different people, but it usually causes changes in personality, behavior, and ability to communicate. A common example that can occur is a person who begins to behave impulsively in an uncharacteristic way and can begin making large purchases without consulting his or her partner, as he or she would have done in the past. It is therefore important to pay attention to a significant change in behavior that may later affect work performance or social relationships

Common symptoms:

  • Unbecoming public behavior
  • Impulsivity (action without thought)
  • Overeating and poor table manners
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Selfishness
  • Inability to identify with people, coldness, and indifference
  • Rudeness 

Ways to Prevent Frontotemporal Dementia:

Unlike vascular complications, Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer's, there are no drugs that can stabilize Frontotemporal dementia. This is why it is very important to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity and cognitive development, which will strengthen the body and brain and enable them to cope best with the disease. It should be noted that in an article published in the journal natural reviews, in 2008 it was found that there are, at hand, advanced imaging techniques for performing early diagnosis of Frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease, information that may well affect the lives of people who have a family history of these diseases.

Dementia

5. Mixed dementia

So far we’ve introduced different types of dementia, but what is more dangerous is a condition in which a person suffers from a combination of several brain changes at the same time. This means that the breakdown of brain proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease occurs with blood problems associated with vascular dementia. In addition, changes in the brain following Alzheimer's may come along with the symptoms of Lewy bodies. In some cases, it is possible that the brain will make changes related to all three of these diseases.

It should be noted that researchers do not know exactly how many older adults are currently diagnosed with a mixed type of dementia, but autopsies suggest that such a condition may be more common than previously thought. Following the combination of several dementia diseases, the symptoms of the disease are mixed and can vary according to changes in the brain and areas affected.

Ways to Prevent Mixed Dementia:

Because the symptoms and changes in the brain are not clear, the ways to prevent them aren’t either. Therefore, you should combine a healthy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy cholesterol level and normal blood pressure, as noted earlier, to minimize the chances of getting the disease.

Parkinson's and Dementia

Now that you are aware of the 5 different types of dementia, you should learn about Parkinson's disease and its link to various dementia diseases so that you are aware of the possible development and its future implications.
 
Parkinson's is a disease that develops slowly and is characterized by motor disorders, and as the disease intensifies, various patients tend to develop dementia, usually Alzheimer's or dementia with Lewy bodies. In fact, 50 percent of patients with Parkinson's disease will experience dementia, but the time it takes for the body to shift from only difficulty in movement to memory problems varies from person to person. It is important to note that usually when a person has Parkinson's disease, it will take at least a few years for cognitive changes to begin, and only then will they be diagnosed with dementia.

Common symptoms:

  • Changes in memory, concentration, and judgment
  • Difficulty interpreting visual information
  • Muffled speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression 
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances which include fatigue and rapid eye movement

Ways to Prevent Parkinson's and Dementia:

Unfortunately, there is no known reason why Parkinson's disease is related to dementia, nor are there many studies that shed light on how to prevent it. However, a study published in 2001 in a journal of Neurology found a link between moderate caffeine intake and a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, which may later affect the appearance of dementia. It is also advisable to adopt the advice from the methods of prevention of dementia with Lewy bodies and work to exercise the brain as much as possible, especially if one already suffers from Parkinson’s.

image source: 

 McBeth  steve hanna  Neil Moralee  

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