What Are the Different Types of Dementia?

Did you know there are different types of dementia? An estimated 50 million people worldwide are affected by some form of dementia.

While most people are familiar with the term, not everyone knows it actually refers to many kinds. In this article, we will discuss 5 types. Some are common, and others are considered rare. 

Keep reading to learn about the types of dementia you should know about.

Alzheimer’s Disease 

Of all the types of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common. Causes aren’t yet fully understood, but they’re thought to be a combination of aging and various life factors. 

Some of the symptoms include a depressed mood, short-term memory loss, and poor judgment. Like most kinds of dementia, Alzheimer’s is irreversible. The average life expectancy is 3 to 10 years post-diagnosis, though it varies.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Another dementia type is Lewy body dementia, which is also called dementia with Lewy bodies. It is caused by protein deposits building up inside nerve cells. They get in the way of the brain’s chemical messages.

In this type of dementia, symptoms start in the brain before the body. Those symptoms include memory loss, shortened attention span, and visual hallucinations. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is 5 to 8 years. 

Groups like Rare Dementia Support provide support services to those affected by rare types of dementia, such as this one. 

Vascular Dementia

Of the different types of dementia, vascular dementia is the second most common. It occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain. It can appear either suddenly or slowly but progresses over time once it sets in.

Like other kinds of dementia, symptoms include confusion and difficulty concentrating. Some patients also experience vision problems. The life expectancy after diagnosis varies based on the patient. 

Parkinson’s Disease

People with Parkinson’s Disease must watch for signs of dementia because the disorder often causes it to develop. It is also a variation of Lewy body dementia. 

Most of the issues caused by this dementia are associated with reasoning and judgment. Patients often struggle to understand visuals or remember how to complete simple tasks. Some also note frightening visual hallucinations. 

The life expectancy post-diagnosis depends upon the patient’s health. The disease’s progression also plays a role. 

Frontotemporal Dementia

While most types of dementia affect older people, Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) affects patients as young as 45 years old. Causes aren’t yet known, but it appears to run in families. 

Symptoms are often characterized by behavioral or personality changes. Problems with speech and compulsivity are also common. As this dementia worsens, communication and memory decline. 

After diagnosis, the average life expectancy is about 3 to 10 years. 

Understand the Different Types of Dementia

There are many different types of dementia. Each one shares similar characteristics, like cognitive or mood changes. But at the same time, they all have distinct differences as well. 

Now that you know the differences, it will be easier to spot early warning signs of dementia in loved ones – or even yourself.  For more interesting health reads, check out some other articles on our website. We have a variety of topics to learn about. 

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