The Different Kinds of Dementia

The following statistics come from a series of posts by Kayt Sukel in the Features Section of 29 April 2017 issue the New Scientist.   The terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are frequently used interchangeably, but Alzheimer’s is but one of the diseases falling under the rubric dementia.  Here is a breakdown.

Alzheimer’s (62%)  Causes problems with memory, language and reasoning.  5%of cases start before age 65.  The defining characteristics required for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s  are the physical presence of amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles.  There are people who have had these physical characteristics but died never knowing they had Alzheimer’s.  The physician Alzheimer was never convinced that he had found a unique disease.  When there are cognitive symptoms they involve memory, language, and reasoning.

Vascular Dementia (17%) Symptoms are impaired judgment, difficulty with motor skills and balance.  Heart disease and stroke increase its likelihood.

Mixed Dementia (10%) Several types of dementia contribute to symptoms.  Most common in people over 85.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (4%)  Caused by Lewy body proteins.  Symptoms can include hallucinations, disordered sleep.

Frontotemporal Dementia (2%)  Personality changes and language problems.  Most common onset between the ages of 45 and 60.

Parkinson’s Disease (2%)  Can give rise to dementia symptoms as the condition progresses.

Other (3%)   Conditions such as Creutzfield-Jacob disease; depression; multiple sclerosis.

Globally,  1 in 20 people lives with the condition.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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