What is Dementia?


Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person's daily life and activities. Dementia is not a particular disease but it a term that describes numerous of symptoms associated with a forgetfulness or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. These functions include memory, language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, and the ability to focus and pay attention. Though dementia generally involves memory loss, memory loss has different causes. Having memory loss alone doesn't mean you have dementia.

Dementia patient forgetfulness


TYPES OF DEMENTIA

1.      Alzheimer’s disease: It is the most common type of dementia and around 60 to 80 percent of Dementia cases are actually Alzheimer’s disease. Its key factors include depression, forgetfulness, confusion, anxiety and eventually leading to difficulty in walking and speaking.

2.      Vascular Dementia:It is considered as the second most common type of dementia and includes 5 to 10 percent of the cases. It occurs due to a decline in thinking skills caused by reduced blood supply to the brain. It usually occurs following a stroke, which blocks the major blood vessels in the brain.


3.      Lewy Body Dementia (LBD): The main cause of LBD is strange deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, disturb chemicals in the brain, which leads to difficulties with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.

4.      Parkinson’s disease: Parkinson’s diseasemainly affectssubstantia nigra, the part of the brain responsible for normal movement. A deficiency of dopamine, a brain chemical that helps control movement, occursdue to impaired or dead nerve cells in the substantia nigra.


5.      Frontotemporal Dementia: Frontotemporal dementia is a rare type of dementia which affects the frontal lobes of the brain, leading to behavioral and speech problems.It is also known as Pick’s Disease and includes five percent of all dementia patients.

6.      Creutzfeldt-Jakob:It is a very rare and fatal type of dementia caused by the change in shape of prion protein in the brain. The misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells, leading to rapid decline in reasoning, thinking and involuntary muscle movements.


7.      Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome: The main cause of WKS is a severe deficiency of Vitamin B-1, or thiamine. Thiamine assists brain cells in producing energy from sugars. When its deficiency occurs, the brain cells do not produce enough energy to function properly.

8.      Mixed Dementia: Mixed Dementia occurs when either two –or all three –of Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia occur together. At least 01 in every 10 patients of dementia are diagnosed with Mixed Dementia.


9.      Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: NPH is a type of dementia in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) gathers in the brain, which damages the brain tissues, resulting in difficulties in thinking, walking and bladder controlling.

1.  Huntington’s disease: Huntington’s disease is caused by a defect in a person’s genes. The defect leads to changes in the major part of the brain, which has an effect on the movement and thinking skills of the patient.

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