What makes dementia so popular among elderly people? Is it an avoidable part of the ageing process? And what are the four most common types of dementia? Let’s find out.
Dementia is a condition in which the brain’s cognitive function deteriorates. Keep in mind that dementia is an umbrella term for various symptoms affecting thinking, memory, language, judgement, and behaviour.
In other words, dementia is a word that encompasses a wide range of specific medical disorders rather than a single disease.
Some of the early indications of dementia are difficulty with basic daily tasks, speech ability, and short-term memory problems.
Types of Dementia
According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are more than ten types of dementia today. Most of those types of dementia are quite rare.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), for example, affects only one in a million people each year.
For that reason, we will only cover the four most prevalent types of dementia:
- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
AD is the most frequent one. Based on the WHO report, more than 60% of people with dementia have AD.
It is important to note that AD is a progressive disease, which means, gradually, it will worsen over time. AD symptoms typically occur in the mid-60s.
Dementia with AD will manifest as abnormal forgetfulness such as not recognising familiar names or faces, trouble performing daily activities or even being unable to recall information that was just provided.
- Vascular Dementia (VD)
The symptoms of VD differ based on the location of the brain affected.
It is caused by bleeding in the brain, which reduces blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, eventually leading to cognitive decline.
Having trouble managing things, spending a long time to make simple decisions, and having trouble following step-by-step activities are some of the typical symptoms of VD.
- Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
The term frontotemporal refers to the two lobes in the brain frontal and temporal.
The most obvious symptoms of FTD are personality changes, language difficulty, and being easily distracted.
Unlike other types of dementia, younger people aged 45-65 are more likely to have FTD.
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
PD patients exhibit varying symptoms including behavioural disturbances, memory loss, tremors (swaying involuntarily), and catalepsy (unable to move the muscle to return hands or legs to its original position).
PD occurs due to the loss of cells in substantia nigra.
This region of the brain is in charge of producing dopamine (a chemical compound capable of delivering signals to coordinate movement).
Dopamine deficiency causes one to be unable to control involuntary movements.
If any of these symptoms of dementia appear, please schedule an appointment with a doctor to receive the necessary treatment.
You can also use the services of a Medi-Call homecare nurse or doctor through the application or contact via the 24-hour Call-Center.