CogniFit's Science blog: What Are The Different Types Of Dementia?

What Are The Different Types Of Dementia?

What does it mean to have dementia? To many people, the word means strange behavior or loss of control.

Dementia includes many symptoms including short-term memory loss.

Other symptoms may include the fact to not be able to easily solve problems, confusion, not being able to do simple tasks such as cooking or balancing your checkbook. Sometimes there are personality changes or strange behaviors.

Most of us view memory loss as a normal part of aging. We assume that because someone is old, memory problems are to be expected. However, serious memory loss is not a normal function of aging, and should be explored by a qualified doctor.

Some dementia can be reversed. Dementia in this case may be brought on by medication interactions, vitamin deficiencies, depression, or thyroid problems. If identified early and treated correctly, these symptoms may improve.

Dementias that are not reversible are called degenerative dementias. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of this dementia. Some degenerative dementias may look like Alzheimer’s, but have distinct features that should be treated differently.

To diagnose dementia, the patient must have a complete medical and neuropsychological evaluation. The doctor will determine how severe the problem is. Early diagnosis allows the doctor to recommend treatment and the caregiver and patient time to plan for the future.

Diagnosing dementia is much more accurate now. Specialists analyze large amounts of data to make the diagnosis. They also will decide how severe it is and sometimes even find the cause of dementia.

After making the diagnosis, the doctor must decide if the cause is a reversible or irreversible dementia. He will then be able to determine the treatment and care for the patient.

There is no cure for irreversible dementia. The treatment focuses on maximizing the patient’s cognitive and functioning abilities. For patients with Alzheimer’s disease, medication is available to slow the decline of the disease and improve their memory function.

Treatment for patients with vascular dementias include controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Other medications manage sleep disorders, depression, or behavioral problems. Because there are so many treatments for dementia, you must have an accurate diagnosis.

As a caregiver, good communication with your doctor is important. It is important to tell your concerns and describe the changes of the patient’s disease to the medical staff so the correct treatment may be given.

There has been a lot of research done on the causes and treatment for dementia. There have been many recent discoveries as well as on the brain plasticity. One day there will be new developments that may cure or even stop this debilitating disease. As always, the best thing to do is to try to prevent it as much as possible by being healthy, physically and paying special attention to your nutrition and mental health.