The changes in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease are not yet well understood. This lack of information may be the reason why people mistakenly relate different types of dementia to this these diseases.
Today we want to clear up the confusion.
Some facts about Alzheimer’s
The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s are well known: problems remembering names and recent conversations. However, as the disease progresses, these signs also worsen.
Later symptoms include difficulty communicating, changes in behavior and judgment, and even problems when eating or walking.
A person’s risk level for developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is in most cases considered unlucky with regard to genetics.
Alzheimer’s is not the only cause of dementia, but it is the most common. This can be the reason why it is misunderstood by almost everyone.
Different types of dementia that are not Alzheimer’s
Now that we’ve told you a little bit about Alzheimer’s disease, we’ll talk about other types of dementia that are often confused with it:
1. Vascular dementia
This involves a reduction in blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot or blockage of the blood vessels.
Of the different types of dementia, this is one of those that can lead to stroke. The most common characteristic is difficulties with planning and organization.
Take care of heart health. You should avoid clogging or blocking the blood vessels completely. This means that you need to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure stable.
In addition, this type of care will also help you avoid getting diabetes.
2. Dementia with Lewy bodies
Lewy bodies consist of a protein known as alpha-synuclein that is formed in the cerebral cortex. It results in memory loss and difficulty thinking.
Of the various types of dementia, this is the one that is most similar to Alzheimer’s.
But what sets them apart is that the former causes sleep disturbances , hallucinations and muscle stiffness. Thanks to this, one also sees similarities with Parkinson’s disease.
When patients with Lewy body dementia go to a known place, they may feel lost because they have forgotten the places they once knew so well.
When a person reaches the stage of dementia, they can walk away just by finding their way to the bathroom or even their own bedroom.
Of the most common types of dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies comes in second place. Alzheimer’s is still the most common type so far.
Keep your brain active to avoid this problem. Learn to speak a new language, get to know the history of new places or gain knowledge about foreign cultures.
High levels of education and stimulating your brain with hobbies can help prevent the symptoms.
3. Dementia caused by Parkinson’s disease
When the alpha-synuclein clumps we talked about above accumulate in a part of the brain, known as the substantial nigra (the black substance), they damage the nerve cells that produce dopamine.
Specialists believe that this is when problems associated with movement, which is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease, form.
It is also accompanied by tremors and slow movements.
The worrying thing about Parkinson’s disease is that no known cause has been found to help people prevent this type of dementia.
4. Frontotemporal dementia
When there is degeneration in the nerve cells of either the frontal or temporal lobe of the brain, it is known as frontotemporal dementia. This can lead to changes in personality, behavior and communication skills.
People suffering from this type of dementia can become impulsive. For example, they can make big purchases without discussing this with their spouse.
Unfortunately, there is no medication to control this type. Therefore, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce injury or possible strokes.
5. Mixed dementia
After all we’ve talked about so far, and to make matters worse, a person can also have a mix of different changes in the brain at the same time.
This is called mixed dementia, which is usually a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is best to keep your brain active and avoid some of the risk factors. It may sound complicated, but it is possible.