What Are the Different Types of Dementia?


The word dementia stems from the word dement. The Latin root of the word is demens which translates to being out of your mind. Merriam-Webster defines dementia in two ways. .  The first definition states that dementia is, “a usually progressive condition (such as Alzheimer’s disease) marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (such as memory impairment, aphasia, and the inability to plan and initiate complex behavior).”  The second definition  is much more straightforward. It  is defined as “madness, insanity.” (www.merriam-webster.com)

The second definition “madness, insanity” is not always exclusive to the patient. The family, friends, and pets can also feel the madness and insanity of dementia in watching it overtake loved ones. Even strangers sometimes get an unfortunate glimpse of the insanity and madness of this disease when encountering its victims.

Learn how dementia usually presents and what types of dementia there are to start to build support, combat, or at least manage this disease of madness and insanity.

Common Dementia Symptoms (these need to be severe enough to interfere with daily life)

  • Loss of memory
  • Trouble with reasoning and judgment
  • Problems with perception
  • Breaks in attention and concentration
  • Difficulty thinking clearly 

Types of Dementia

While there can be many types of dementia, there are three most commonly recognized and categorized by the professional medical community.

  • Alzheimer’s disease: Web MD (www.medmd.com/alzheimers/guide) states that experts think between 60-80% of those with dementia have this disease. They say that over 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with this, and it is what most people think of when they think of dementia. Alzheimer’s is linked to plaque in the brain and has one gene that increases the risk, the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE) gene.
  • Vascular dementia: This is widely considered the second most common type of dementia and is caused by a stroke or problems that affect the brain when there has been a lack of blood supply. This type of dementia causes problem solving, organizational, and reasoning challenges.
  • Lewy body dementia: Lewy bodies are tiny, microscopic clumps or bubble-like balloons found in the brain. This can present as tremors or issues with movement similar to Parkinson’s. 

While it is severely less common, there are some forms of dementia that are reversable. Understanding which type of dementia is affecting your loved one and building a plan around it will help. Here at Cleveland Health Care Center, we understand the disease and the madness that comes with it and we are here to help. We offer specialized services to enhance the daily life of residents who need assistance in memory care. Give us a call at 281-593-3737 to learn more about our memory care services.

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