Posted on Sep 05, 2013
Dementia is a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions. Dementia is not one disease but a cluster of various symptoms. In time, some of these symptoms will interfere with an individual's ability to perform daily tasks and common functions. Senior Helpers Orlando would like to share some insight on a few of the common and not-so-common types of dementia.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Mild Cognitive Impairment does not meet the criteria of dementia; however, according to researchers from both Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts's General Hospital over sixty percent of those who have been diagnosed with MCI may develop Alzheimer's within five years. Some patients with MCI may never develop dementia. There is cognitive decline in memory, language, judgment, and thinking skills. Often, the individual may be keenly aware of his or her decline. Individuals are still able to perform their daily activities. http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Research/labs/CART/what_is_mci.aspx
In this type of dementia there is a decline in thinking skills or mental processes that include the ability to question, remember, compare, form concepts, plan, and reason. This decline is caused by conditions that either block blood flow to the brain or slow blood flow in the brain. According to theAlzheimer's Association, there are distinguishable ties between brain health and the health of the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking could increase the risk for vascular dementia. Symptoms may often vary because they depend on the brain region that is affected. http://www.alz.org/dementia/vascular-dementia-symptoms.asp
Frontal Temporal Dementia
Portions of the brain in the frontal and temporal lobes begin to degenerate, and shrink. It is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem. The onset is at a younger age, sometimes even starting at 39-40 years of age. Patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions. They show compulsive behavior, and some may develop loss of speech. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers worthwhile information regarding Front temporal Dementia. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/picks/picks.htm#What_is
Lewy Body Dementia
This is progressive form of dementia. According to the Mayo Clinic, this type of dementia "is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease". Protein deposits known as Lewy bodies develop and grow in the nerve cells of the brain that control motor functions, thinking processes, and memory. Hallucinations, body rigidity, and tremors are just a few of the symptoms. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lewy-body-dementia/DS00795
Alzheimer's is a progressive form of dementia that causes s both loss of memory and loss of vital brain functions. Vital connections between brain cells, along with the brain cells, end up dying. Alzheimer's patients have short term memory deficits, which become more pronounced as the disease progresses. For some, there is an obvious inability to have filters, in relation to self-control, and sexual inhibitions. At times, some patients are unable to figure out their surroundings. Others wander away and are unable to find out where they are or what they are doing. As the disease progresses, individuals will not be able to bathe, eat, or care for themselves. The local Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center offers current information regarding research and the Brain Bank project.
Creutzfeldt - Jakob Disease (CJD)
This very rare degenerative disease progresses quite rapidly, and is often misdiagnosed. A protein called prion begins folding abnormally. The abnormal forms of the protein -prion- begin to clump. Patients begin to experience problems with coordination, changes in personality, impaired judgment, and memory deficiencies. They may go blind, and often develop episodes of muscle jerks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are very few cases in the United States, which only reports between 279 and 352 cases a year.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes Wernicke-Korsakoff's Syndrome as a degenerative brain disease resulting from a deficiency or lack of thiamine (B1). This disease is often associated with malnutrition, dietary restrictions, and alcoholism. Symptoms can include stupor, confusion, short term memory deficiencies, amnesia, and disorientation. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/wernicke_korsakoff/wernicke-korsakoff.htm
We hope this post offers you information and links you can use regarding some types of dementia. Do not hesitate to call Senior Helpers office in Orlando, should you have any questions regarding care your loved one. For more information please call 407-628-4257.
Senior Helpers Orlando Team