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Dementia

‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms of cognitive impairment. Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we might face as adults. As we see our parents become dependent and disabled, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. There are many types of dementia and managing dementia can be overwhelming. We must balance worry and the realization that roles have changed. To make dealing with this challenge somewhat less difficult, let us get acquainted with three of the most common types of dementia and their symptoms.

3 Common Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many Americans over the age of 65.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often mirror signs of common stress, and it can be easy to overlook symptoms for a while, not realizing a bigger problem could be at hand. Though symptoms such as not being able to focus, forgetfulness, and negative attitude, are symptoms that could result from something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night, these are also common indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms of the illness include:

  • Inability to recall numerical sequences like phone numbers and addresses
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Trouble completing or remembering to do everyday tasks like self-care and chores
  • Forgetting material that you just watched or read, as well as misplacing things often
  • Withdrawing from social situations and changes in personality

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that involves impairments in cognitive function caused by damage to blood vessels caused by multiple strokes. Some specialists favor the term “vascular cognitive impairment” (VCI) to “vascular dementia” because they feel it conveys the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Vascular Dementia:

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often unrecognizable for a long time. They may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • The decline in the ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
  • Memory loss
  • Significant slowness of thought

 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which proteins, called alpha-synuclein, accumulate inside certain brain cells. These accumulated proteins, called Lewy bodies, cause damage to brain cells in areas of the brain that affect mental capabilities, behavior, and movement.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Symptoms of LBD may resemble the symptoms of other neurological disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Yet, cognitive symptoms tend to show earlier in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson’s disease dementia. The effects of LBD show in each person differently and vary in severity.

Common symptoms of LBD include:

  • Movement disorders
  • Poor regulation of body functions (autonomic nervous system)
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Depression

 

While cures for dementia continue to baffle the medical world, that does not stop us from learning about different dementias and adjusting our ways of dealing with those who have it. We want to love and care for those we know with dementia to the best of our abilities.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

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