Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia
“Dementia” is not one specific disease, but rather a term used for symptoms shared by hundreds of different brain disorders.
Alzheimer’s Disease - Most common dementia; accounts for 60 - 80 percent of cases.
Vascular Dementia - Multi-infarct, or post-stroke dementia
Mixed Dementia - Alzheimer’s combined with another type of dementia
Lewy Bodies Dementia - Similar to Alzheimer’s. Prone to hallucinations.
Parkinson’s Disease - Many people with Parkinson’s disease also develop dementia.
Frontotemporal Dementia - Damage to the front and side regions of the brain.
Pick’s disease - A type of frontotemporal dementia.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease – In some cases diagnosed as Mad Cow disease
* Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) - Caused by the buildup of fluid in the brain. May be reversible.
Other reversible conditions that mimic dementia: Drug reactions, malnutrition, dehydration, infections, anesthesia. At the first sign of acute confusion and memory loss, see your doctor; a sudden onset of confusion or delirium may indicate a reversible condition.
Remember: There’s much more to each of us than our memory and even if our personalities may change, our personhood stays intact until our last breath.
Keep in mind that no two of us are identical and this is especially true of people with dementia and Alzheimer's.
At some point we have all forgotten something: where we put our keys, the names of people we met last week, the container of Chinese takeout from last month that's sitting in the back of the refrigerator, - or to pay a bill. Some of the things on this list may mean little or nothing in isolation. However, when a person shows several signs consistently, it's time to become proactive. So when you review the list, look for changes in behavior along with a decline in cognitive ability and often personality changes.