All about Dementia, its’s Symptoms & Types of Dementia
Table of contents
- 1 All about Dementia, its’s Symptoms & Types of Dementia
- 1.1 What is dementia?
- 1.2 Importance of diagnosis of dementia
- 1.3 What are the Symptoms of dementia?
- 1.4 Types of Dementia
- 1.5 Symptoms of various forms of Dementia
- 1.6 Symptoms in the later stages of Dementia
- 1.7 Risk factors associated with developing Dementia
- 1.8 Reduce the risk of developing Dementia
- 1.9 Causes of Dementia
- 1.10 Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
- 1.11 Causes of Vascular Dementia
- 1.12 Causes of dementia with Lewy bodies
- 1.13 Causes of Frontotemporal Dementia
- 1.14 Rare causes of Dementia
What is dementia?
Dementia is an extensive umbrella terminology used to depict an array of progressive neurological diseases. There are various types of dementia and some people may come up against a combination of types. Irrespective of which type of dementia is diagnosed, every individual will encounter their dementia in their own distinctive way.
Dementia is a common neurological ailment that mainly occurs in people of more than 65 years of age. The risk of obtaining dementia usually increases as a person gets older. This neurological ailment is (a group of associated symptoms) connected with a continuous deterioration of the brain, brain cells and its capabilities to perform its set functions. This includes issues with:
- Loss of memory (both short term and long term)
- Hampered thought process
- Mental sharpness and dexterity
- Language understanding problem
- Poor reasoning, judgment and analysis
Individuals suffering with dementia may find social situations utterly challenging, arduous and burdensome as they tend to lose passion for socializing, and certain aspects of their personality may also change. Such people become submissive and dispassionate even in their regular day to day activities, and may develop problems controlling their sentiments.
People with dementia may lose the ability of compassion, comprehension, appreciation and responsiveness, they may hear or see things that others do not (a figment of imagination), or they may make false statements or assertions.
As dementia impacts a person’s mental competencies, they may find preparing, arranging and managing exhaustive.
Self-determination and self-governance may also become a problem for people with dementia. A person with dementia will therefore generally need help for decision making from family, relatives or friends.
Your physician will discuss the prospective causes of memory loss, including dementia and its related disorders. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Growing complexities with tasks and practices that need planning and focus
- Hopelessness, isolation or melancholy
- Mood swings or changes in personality
- State and interval of mental confusion
- Complication with right choice of words
Most types of dementia can be cured if detected in early stages and there are course of action in medical treatment that can slow it down and maintain standardized mental mechanism
Importance of diagnosis of dementia
A timely diagnosis can help people with dementia get the appropriate treatment, medical assistance and support, and aid those close to them to plan for a better future. With a proper treatment and support from peers, many people are able to lead lively, spirited and contentious lives
What are the Symptoms of dementia?
- Psychical or intellectual ability – People experiencing dementia may encounter trouble orientating in place and time, for instance, waking up in middle of the night to go to office, in spite of being retired. A person with dementia may confront confusion in surrounding and scenarios which they are unaccustomed to or have never explored before. Their propensity to concentrate on particular tasks may get stiffed; focus may be difficult to maintain. These symptoms can also be observed in tasks such as shopping, where there maybe ambiguity over products and payment. The capability of reasoning may also be wearied. For some people with dementia they obtain a sense of anxiety and like better to keep moving than being still.
- Memory loss issues – Most commonly short term memory is highly affected and any new data is difficult to keep hold off for people with dementia. Family members may discover that their dear one is becoming frequently forgetful and loses articles of value routinely. Dementia attacked people experience confusion with names, lack in memorizing of lately contacted people, and may get lost in outwardly acquainted with places. However, many of us forget a face or name a few times in our busy and packed lives and this is nothing to panic about. But when detected on a more recurring basis it is recommended to seek medical advice.
- Interaction or public speaking – Talking your heart out, ability to express yourself in words, sending across your viewpoint or opinion on a specific matter or isolate from people or closed ones to avoid communication are prevalent problems that can be noticed in dementia disorder. A person with dementia may continually repeat their statements or have problems identifying the right words. Reading and writing may become troublesome for people with dementia. They may also experience changes in personality, conduct and attitude, sudden changes in mood, restlessness and sadness. As an outcome, people with dementia may lose passion and spirit in involving socially wit people. Self-esteem will thus widely be affected. Often participating and engaging in interaction with others can be uninteresting and laborious for a formerly introvert person but for an outgoing person not following or engaging actively in conversations or becoming quieter and more introverted can be a situation of worry.
Dementia disorder can be a combination of any one or all of the stated symptoms, which have been transpiring gradually over a period of time and are successively getting worse.
Any problem related with forgetfulness, lack of memory retention, or confusion must always be discussed with your physician. There can be several reasons for these symptoms and it is always good to get them tested.
Types of Dementia
Alzheimer’s ailment is a most common kind of dementia, specifically prevalent in United Kingdom. Signs of Alzheimer’s affect 5 main aspects of cerebral functions which includes –
- Cognitive ability
- Spatial awareness
People with dementia usually suffer with poor memory function, specifically in context to time; normal forgetfulness featured by losing items incapability to remember or recall recent events messages or repeating oneself. Literally, memory issues are concealed by growing dependency on familiar environments. Cognitive ability of a person may be disabled in several different ways including, poor managing skills, and an incompetency to undertake routine and familiar activities; hindered communication and impeded decision making – conversation can appear jumbled up and so slow- and trouble following a TV show or movie may be observed. With emerging poor decision making skills, a person with Alzheimer’s disease becomes victim to poor analysis and judgments. Those with early stages of Alzheimer’s may exhibit less original ideas and initiative. It may be observed that there is an ongoing increase in dependency on family and companions.
Language is also impaired. As Alzheimer’s ailment makes its strides, there may be increasing issue with naming things; episodic wrong selection of words may be observed. These trials and tribulations may also affect on number of issues such as – potential to organize financial matters may be disabled and miscalculation becomes a common problem. The condition of Alzheimer’s has a propensity to develop quite slowly over a period of time. As Alzheimer’s disease makes its way forward individual experience rising confusion when out, and can easily get disorganized. Those juggling with Alzheimer’s can experience trouble in performing routine tasks like arranging their cupboards/wardrobes, dressing, or cooking.
Vascular dementia also sometimes referred to as multi-infarct dementia (MID), is another most common form of dementia to be diagnosed. The condition is a consequence of short strokes which provokes pocket of cells to damage in the brain. As an outcome vascular dementias usually proceed from a more sequential retrogression followed by a span of moderate recovery. This varies from the systematic progression of Alzheimer’s disease which is steadier. Memory and power of recall or retention may not be as adversely affected by vascular dementia as with Alzheimer’s, but communication and language are relatively to be more affected. There could also be realms of possibility that a person may have a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease simultaneously. This is called as mixed dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia also sometimes known as frontal lobe or Pick’s disease is a steadily progressive brain disorder which primarily affects personality and attitude. The parts of the brain which are extensively affected are those in the front of the brain, just in the far side the forehead. It can cause self consciousness, embarrassment and unbefitting behavior, specifically in public. Eating patterns of a person can also be affected, with people abruptly ‘blowing-out’ on food. This type of dementia is more often, but not wholly, found in young adults, between ages of 45 and 65 years old. It is a comparatively unusual kind of dementia and could be tough to diagnose. This type of dementia is time and again confused with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression or psychosis.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies can be particularly problematic, as the disorder causes the cognitive impairment to waver and cerebral movements are specifically affected, with fluctuating motor control. In Dementia with Lewy bodies, a person’s bodies might muddle as they move, walk or run and be more prone to or stumbles. Quivers in body may be observed, almost identical to those people who have experienced Parkinson’s disease. Due to the damage of nerve cell in Lewy bodies, delusion and illusion often become dominant in those with this type of dementia of Lewy bodies. These delusions can be present in from of both visual and audible.
Memory is relatively less affected than as with other kinds of dementia, but a person might feel frequent rounds of confusion which can alter on periodic basis. Sleep patterns can also be affected as can swallowing of food. People experiencing dementia with Lewy bodies are more prone to take sudden naps or fall asleep unconsciously in the day time, but then face distorted sleep at night, often encountering severe nightmares or strange dreams. As with all dementias, Lewy bodies’ disorder is also progressive and symptoms get intense over time.
Young onset dementia
In dementia with Young onset dementia, it becomes intensely critical to cope with the condition as the diagnosis is often difficult and unexpected. This type of dementia is difficult to manage and might result in deprivation of income as a partner may surrender work to care for their closed one. Kids may be younger and also take on solicitous roles as the problem progresses.
Symptoms of various forms of Dementia
Early symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is itself not a disease, but a group of symptoms that typically occurs from damage to the brain. These symptoms can emerge out by a collection of conditions.
Early symptoms specific to Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia. The Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:-
- Memory loss – particularly issues with memory for recent occasions, incidents, such as forgetting a social function invitation date, calls, problems with remembering routes, confusion with dates or names and repetitively asking same questions.
- Increasing complexities with activities and tasks that demand appropriate planning, managing and execution.
- Getting perplexed in unfamiliar or new environments
- Problem finding the right terms while talking and thus responding late
- Difficulty with handling financial matters at a workplace and/or dealing with numbers
- Frequent changes in personality and behavior
- Unhappiness and misery
Early symptoms of dementia (at times referred to as cognitive impairment) are often lenient and may get unpleasant only very gradually with time. This suggests you might be unaware if you have them, and family and closed ones may not realize them or avoid them in ignorance for some time.
In Alzheimer’s type of dementia, the brain gets more injured internally and functions less over time. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s type dementia are inclined to change and become more serious. For this matter, it is essential to consult your GP at the earliest instead of delaying any further if you are struggling with memory issues. The manner that in which the symptoms develop and the rate at which symptoms get adverse, typically depends on what is causing the dementia, along with the overall health. This suggests that the symptoms and face off with dementia can differ greatly from individual to individual.
Early symptoms specific to Vascular Dementia
The symptoms of vascular dementia can sometimes develop instantaneously and rapidly get poor, although in some cases they can also occur steadily over months or years. People experiencing vascular dementia may also come across stroke-like symptoms, including paralysis, muscle weakness, or body cramps.
Early symptoms specific to Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia early symptoms usually include frequent alterations in emotions, attitude and personality. For instance, a person suffering from with this kind of dementia may become less careful and compassionate towards other people’s sentiments, perhaps making them appear cold-hearted and callous. They may also lose some of their bashfulness, leading to unacceptable behavior, such as making wicked, derogatory, inappropriate comments on others.
In frontotemporal dementia, some people also receive language issues that include no talking, talking less than usual or finding it difficult to choose the right words or continuously repeating a same statement over and over again.
Early symptoms specific to dementia with Lewy bodies
The few common symptoms of Dementia with Lewy bodies are almost similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and people under this condition generally also experience:
- Time intervals of being alert or sluggish, sleepy, lethargic, or oscillating levels of confusion
- Visual delusions and hallucinations
- Becoming exhausted and slower in the physical movements
Symptoms in the later stages of Dementia
As dementia advances, problem with communication and loss of memory retention often become very critical. In the following stages, a person tends to abandon their own health and well-being and need consistent attention and care.
Serious Memory and retention problems in later dementia
People with progressive dementia may fail to recognize their relatives, close family friends; they may even occasionally forget where they stay, from where they belong to or know where they are. People in later stages of dementia may find it next to impossible to interpret simple piece of information, carry out normal tasks or follow commands.
Mobility issues in later Dementia
Many people with progressive dementia steadily become less able to move or do any physical tasks suitably. In this gradually accelerating condition, a person might even fail to contribute towards routine tasks and get tire easily without even having done anything. Such people may also appear clumsy while in motion. Some situations become so worse that people eventually lose their ability to walk and may become bedridden.
Lack of proper 2 ways communication in later Dementia
People in advancing stages of dementia fall victim to flawed communication in a way that they may lose the ability to speak clearly or express themselves with the right choice of words. It is often usual for a person with dementia to have increasing complications with language and to voice their opinion particularly in public. In some later stages dementia people it is observed that people have eventually lost their capability to speak entirely. So, it becomes crucially important to keep trying to interact with them and to identify and use other non-verbal forms of communication, such as gestures, face expression, and movements, body language and touch.
Eating, weight loss and appetite in later dementia
Fondness for food, cravings and hunger subsides with the progressive dementia illness. Loss of appetite and weight loss become common in the later stages of dementia. It is crucial that people with progressive dementia in later stages get help at mealtimes to ensure they eat adequately. In some cases, people also experience difficulty in chewing, swallowing and digesting the food that further results in choking, infections and other issues.
Incontinence in later Dementia
Bladder incontinence is the most prominent symptoms in the later stages of dementia and some people will also come across bowel incontinence which is a severe problem.
It is important to diagnose dementia as early as possible specifically because in later stages it is not only difficult to treat but the condition is unable to be reversed and its severity could result in some serious loss of health.
Risk factors associated with developing Dementia
It is very crucial that an a proper diagnosis is made as early as possible to ensure that correct treatment, support and recommendation is given and further plan of action in this regard can be made.
Reduce the risk of developing Dementia
There are various risk factors linked with the developing dementia, age being the highest, as people grow with age so does the pausibility of developing dementia. Dementia condition can attack both men and women, particularly in adult age. In the present population statistics, men are more prone to develop to vascular dementia while women are most likely to develop Alzheimer’s. With appropriate treatment, consultation, care and advice altogether, we can rule out the risk of developing a dementia, if not wholly, but then can establish a healthy lifestyle which alleviates greater part of that risk.
What is best for the heart is best for the brain. Giving up on intake of alcohol, smoking, tobacco, junk foods, eating a well balanced nutritious diet, regular exercise are all means in which we can acquire a healthy lifestyle. Being socially active, engaged in productive tasks, reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol also have a good impact on mental as well as physical wellbeing.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is typically caused by steady fluctuations and damage in the brain. The most common causes of dementia include diseases in which the brain cells degrades and die out more fastidiously than they would as element of the natural ageing process. The changes generally occur because of increase in build-up of the malformed (abnormal) proteins in the brain. This brain damage eventually leads to weakening and worsening of a person’s mental and, sometimes, physical abilities.
The abnormal proteins usually vary in each type of different kinds of dementia. In majority of cases, dementia disorder is not genetically inherited straight from family members.
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s kind of dementia is the most common and prevailing form of dementia in which a person’s loss of brain cells directly results in the contraction of brain. A significant part of the brain called as the cerebral cortex is specifically affected by this contraction. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain which has a layer of grey matter covering the brain. This coating of Grey matter is liable for processing thoughts and many of the intricate functions of the brain, such as storing memories, retrieving data, calculation and computation, judgment, planning, organizing and spelling.
Bunch of protein, called as “tangles” and “plaques”, steadily form in the brain. The tangles and plaques build up in the brain are believed to be accountable for the increasing loss of brain cells. Due to this, links between brain cells are destroyed and thus less neurotransmitter chemicals exist to transfer messages from one brain cell to another. The tangles and plaques also deteriorate the chemicals that transfer messages between brain cells and thus a person starts to experience abnormalities in his/her state of mind and functioning.
Causes of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is typically caused when the brain’s blood supply is ceased. Like all other body organs, the brain requires a consistent supply of oxygen, mineral, nutrients and fiber from the blood to process properly. If the supply of blood is interrupted or blocked, the brain cells will start to die over a period of time, resulting in brain damage.
In vascular dementia, the blood vessels in the brain usually get stiff and narrows down, thus leading to steady interruption in the brain’s blood supply. The build-up of the fatty deposits on the blood vessel walls, limiting blood flow is the real reason for the blood vessels in the brain to get stiff and narrow. This is known as atherosclerosis, and is more prevalent in people with type1 diabetes, high blood pressure or who smokes a lot. Atherosclerosis in the tiny blood vessels inside the brain will also cause them to seal up swiftly, seizing the brain of blood. This is known as small vessel disease. If the blood supply in the brain is obstructed quickly during a stroke, this can also destroy the brain cells. However, not everyone who has had a stroke will go on to obtain vascular dementia. Just that if you ever have had a stroke or you have been detected with small vessel illness; you may be at a higher risk of developing vascular dementia.
Causes of dementia with Lewy bodies
Lewy bodies are tiny, rounded chunks of protein that form inside brain cells. Although it is not clear what causes them. It is also not known how they harm the brain and cause dementia with Lewy bodies.
It is likely that Lewy bodies intervene with the impacts of two of the messenger chemicals in the brain called acetylcholine and dopamine. These messenger chemicals, which carries data and information from one brain cell to another, are known as neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine and dopamine are known to play a crucial character in processing of brain functions, such as memory, mood, learning, attention and analysis.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely associated to Parkinson’s disease. This is an illness, where part of the brain gets increasingly injured over a period of years, resulting to physical symptoms, such as muscle stiffness, involuntary shaking, quiver or twitch and slow movement. People with dementia with Lewy bodies may also row these symptoms.
Causes of Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage and contraction in 2 parts of the brain. The 2 parts of the brain impacted are called the frontal lobe and the temporal lobe. Frontotemporal kind of dementia is one of the more common forms observed in people who are below 65 years of age.
In an approximate of 20% of cases, people who obtain frontotemporal dementia have it inbred or running in the genes from their parents or family. Motor neurone disease is at times linked with frontotemporal dementia. It is not an ordinary condition. The rare condition can destroy the nervous system over time, causing the muscles to sicken.
Rare causes of Dementia
There are certain causes of dementia or dementia-like illness that may be treatable, reversible or non-progressive (meaning they can be interrupted to get worse with time). These include:
- Shortfall of thyroid hormone
- Lack of vitamin-B
- Some Brain tumor
- head injury
- HIV associated infections
- Infections like encephalitis
There are even rarer causes of dementia or you can say neurodegenerative dementia that includes:
- Atypical kinds of Alzheimer’s disease, like a posterior cortical atrophy, which generally showcases with visual hurdles, rather than memory issues.
- Huntington’s disease (a rare inherent ailment that causes progressive brain damage)
- Corticobasal degeneration ( a progressive neurological illness that may involve muscle rigidity, motor system, tremor or cognition)
- Progressive supranuclear palsy (worsening of only a few brain cells but very crucial areas at the substructure of the brain).