Dementia does not refer to a specific disease but rather a group of conditions that impair brain functioning. This is usually a lifelong condition that gets aggravated with age. Sadly, there is not cure for dementia though treatment can help ease the symptoms and make day to day life more comfortable for the patient. Medication can also slow the progression of this syndrome. There are many different types of dementia.
This is one of the most common forms of dementia. Memory loss and having trouble getting organised are classic signs of Alzheimer’s disease. With time, these symptoms can get worse. Apart from poor memory, patients might also lose their way in familiar places, get confused about what day it is, have problems speaking and show poor judgement.
This sort of dementia is usually preceded by a major stroke or a series of smaller strokes. The patient may not even realise that he has had a stroke. The symptoms of this condition depend on the part of the brain most affected by the stroke. Poor judgement and impaired decision-making are characteristic symptoms of vascular dementia. Other symptoms include memory loss, clumsiness, changes in personality, and trouble communicating with others.
Dementia with lewy bodies
Sometimes, microscopic deposits of protein may settle in the brain. These are known as Lewy bodies. If these deposits are in the brain’s cortex, it can cause dementia. The most common symptoms of this condition include lowered attention span, memory troubles, hallucinations, daytime drowsiness, trembling, having trouble walking and blackout periods.
Parkinson’s disease dementia
Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system and reduces dopamine production in the brain. Many people suffering from Parkinson’s develops dementia. These patients also show the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain and hence the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia are very similar to those caused by dementia with Lewy Bodies.
Huntington’s disease is a result of a faulty gene that is passed down from one generation to another. Symptoms of this condition typically begin to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. Some of the symptoms include forgetfulness, poor judgement, lowered concentration, trouble in planning and impaired reasoning.
This disease is caused by cell damage to the parts of the brain that control speech, emotions, movement, judgement and planning. It can cause personality changes as well as changes in behavioral patterns, a sudden lack of inhibition in social situations, inability to find specific words while having a conversation and balance-related problems.