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It’s not always Alzheimer’s: Other types of irreversible dementia

Tuesday, January 21 2014 11:38 PM

Not everyone who has dementia has Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of irreversible dementia, but there are actually more than 70 different causes of dementia.

Many irreversible dementias share common traits, such as memory loss, but the initial presenting symptoms of the dementias may be different.

Here are three other forms of irreversible dementia:

Vascular dementia (previously referred to as multi-infarct dementia) 

  • Usually caused by a series of mini-strokes
  • Damage is related to inadequate blood supply
  • Symptoms may include impaired judgment and challenges completing multi-step tasks
  • Changes can come on suddenly, or come as a gradual loss of function or thinking

Lewy-body dementia

  • Tends to share symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • May look similar to Parkinson’s disease in terms of movement
  • Initial presenting symptoms may include frequent falls, sleep disturbances and visual hallucinations
  • Cognitive fluctuations may inhibit some people’s abilities

Frontotemporal dementia (previously referred to as Pick’s disease)

  • Symptoms related to the frontal lobe may include personality changes, loss of impulse control and inability to control behavior
  • Symptoms related to the temporal lobe may include difficulty with language, such as being unable to get words out or to understand what is said
  • Symptoms tend to develop between ages 40 and 65
  • Tends to progress faster than Alzheimer’s disease

Click here to read more information from the Alzheimer’s Association about different forms of irreversible dementia.

By Michelle Kutner, CSW, MSW, CTRS
Specialty Service Consultant

Source: www.good-sam.com  

Click here to view the original article 

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