September is “World Alzheimer’s Month” and I wish they would stop using the word Azheimer’s when the better word is Dementia. I hope to provide some educational information on Dementia as part of the World Alzheimer’s Month. I should state that I am not a doctor but as a Caregiver for my wife who is living with Vascular Dementia I have been encouraged to educate myself to better help her live with this disease. Most of what I am putting forward here is from material I have been provided in my Caregivers Support Group. Dementia is the umbrella term that includes more than many types of Dementia. The 10 most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
- CTE Cronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)
- Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (CJD)
- Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD): a) Pick’s Disease; b) Primary Progressive Aphasia
- Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease (DSS)
- HIV-Associated Dementia (HAD)
- Huntington’s Disease (HD)
- Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
- Vascular Dementia: a) Multi-Infarct Dementia; b) Single-Infarct Dementia; c) Binswanger’s Disease; d) CADASIL
I think before I go any further I should give some explanation of what conditions are NOT Dementia:
1 – Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Some people develop cognitive and memory problems that are not severe enough to diagnosed as dementia but are more pronounced than the cognitive changes associated with normal aging. This condition is called mild cognitive impairment. Although many patients with this condition later develop dementia, some do not. Many researchers are studying mild cognitive impairment to find ways to treat it or prevent it from progressing to dementia.
2 – Age Related Cognitive Decline
As people age, they usually experience slower information processing and mild memory impairment. In addition, their brains frequently decrease in volume and some nerve cells, or neurons, are lost. These changes, called age-related cognitive decline, are normal and are not considered signs of dementia.
3 – Depression
People with depression are frequently passive or unresponsive, and they may appear slow, confused, or forgetful. Other emotional problems can also cause symptoms that sometimes mimic dementia.
4 – Delirium
Delirium is characterized by confusion and rapidly altering mental states. The person may also be disoriented, drowsy, or incoherent, and may exhibit personality changes. Delirium is usually caused by treatable physical or psychiatric illness, such as poisoning or infections. Patients with delirium often, though not always, make a full recovery after their underlying illness is treated
In the coming weeks I will provide some explanation of some of the types of dementia.