Causes of dementia : types, stages and symptoms
Dementia is a combination of medical symptoms associated with deficits in all or some parts of the brain and their functions.
Dementia affects individuals differently, depending on the part of the brain is affected.
Causes of dementia
Not all causes of dementia are known, as there are several diseases that causes dementia, including medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems.
Other Causes of dementia are;
Traumatic brain injury
The main types of progressive dementia are;
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Mixed dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease: Is the most common cause of dementia and accounts to over 60 percent of cases. Alzheimer’s disease patients have abnormal proteins in their brain cells.
The abnormal proteins damages healthy nerve cells and chemical connections between brain cells.
Abnormalities in the gene can increase your risk of having dementia, but research shows that a particular gene increases your risk at a higher chance.
Apolipoprotein E4 (APOE) in your gene means dementia could run in your family.
- Vascular dementia: Is the second most common type of dementia. When the arteries are tighter, and the blood flow to the brain is reduced. This can damage the nerve cells. Vascular dementia occurs when their is blood vessel blockage in the brain
- Mixed dementia: This indicates that patient has combination of different types of dementia, for example, an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia together.
- Frontotemporal dementia: is a group of disease associated with deficits of the front and side parts of the brain. The areas mostly affected is associated with behaviour and personality.
- Lewy body dementia: are named after the scientist who discovered them. It occurs when abnormal proteins in the nerve cells prevent the brain from sending chemical signals.
Stages of progressive dementia
Majority of dementia cases are progressive. The stages below shows that the symptoms get worse gradually.
Stage 1: Patient has no activity limitation
Stage 2: Patient has no activity limitation, but started showing symptoms
Stage 3: Patient started showing little limitations on daily activities
Stage 4: Patient needs help with daily activities
Stage 5: Patient has significantly low physical or mental abilities
Stage 6: Patient unable to function independently
Symptoms of dementia
Some diseases shows symptoms like dementia, but the most common symptom of dementia are;
- Difficulty understanding what is seen
- Inability to focus
- Memory loss
- Inability to communicate properly