Monday, January 8, 2024
As January unfolds, it not only marks the beginning of a new year but also stands as a pivotal moment for national awareness regarding Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Designated as Alzheimer's Awareness Month, January serves as an opportunity, inviting everyone to learn more about dementia.
At the heart of Alzheimer's Awareness Month is a collective effort to shine a spotlight on Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for the majority of dementia cases worldwide. This progressive neurodegenerative condition impacts memory, cognition, and daily functioning. January becomes a rallying point for communities, healthcare professionals, and organizations to unite and educate the public about the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals with Alzheimer's and their families.
But did you know there are different types of dementia as well as different stages of dementia? We’ll explore the most common types of dementia, shedding light on their unique features and potential causes.
Vascular dementia is the second most common type and typically occurs as a result of reduced blood flow to the brain, often due to stroke or other vascular issues. The symptoms can vary depending on the location and extent of the brain damage, but they commonly include difficulties with planning, organizing, and problem-solving. Risk factors for vascular dementia include hypertension, diabetes, and a history of strokes.
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
Lewy Body Dementia is characterized by the presence of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies in the brain. Individuals with LBD may experience visual hallucinations, fluctuating alertness, and motor symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, such as stiffness and tremors. Cognitive decline and memory loss are also prominent features of Lewy Body Dementia.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
Frontotemporal Dementia is a group of disorders characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Unlike Alzheimer's, FTD often affects younger individuals, typically between the ages of 40 and 65. Behavioral changes, language difficulties, and problems with executive function are common symptoms of frontotemporal dementia.
In some cases, individuals may exhibit characteristics of more than one type of dementia. This is known as mixed dementia, and it often involves a combination of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. The coexistence of different pathologies can complicate diagnosis and management.
As the world collectively observes Alzheimer's Awareness Month in January, it is an opportune time to unravel the intricate tapestry of dementia. Dementia is a complex and multifaceted syndrome with various underlying causes. Understanding the different types of dementia is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Lissette Mairena Wong
January 31, 2024
January 17, 2024
June 7, 2018