Some different types of dementia
Read a transcript of this video:
There are many different types of dementia and people often ask us what the diagnosis they have received means. This video will explain some of the main types.
Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by chemical changes in the brain. It involves the breakdown of Acetylcholine, which helps transmit the messages between neurons – or brain cells. When this occurs, the neurons die and that part of the brain no longer works. In Alzheimer’s this damage usually begins in the temporal lobe and initially affects memory and communication.
The ‘language variant’, known as Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)’ has 3 subtypes, called Semantic Dementia (SD), Progressive Non Fluent Aphasia (PNFA) and Logopenic Aphasia (LPA) FTD does not typically affect memory in the early stages.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies or Lewy body dementia (DLB/LBD)
Dementia with Lewy Bodies involves a different protein which also affects the transmission of messages between neurons. It tends to start further back in the brain and initially affects the cognitive processes which are associated with vision and movement.
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD)
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia also affects the transmission of messages between neurons. Unlike Dementia with Lewy bodies, it starts with difficulties in movement rather than cognition. It is usually diagnosed if someone has had problems with movement for at least a year before experiencing dementia symptoms.
Vascular Dementia is caused by blockages or bleeds in the arteries, which leads to a disruption of the oxygenated blood flow to the brain. When neurons are deprived of oxygen they die, causing that part of the brain to cease functioning. These blockages can occur anywhere in the brain and the course of the disease can be unpredictable.
Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA)
Posterior Cortical Atrophy is a rare dementia that is thought to be a variant of Alzheimer’s Disease. It affects the transmission of messages between neurons in the occipital lobes and initially affects vision.
If you would like to know more about one of the types of dementia outlined here – or any other type – Dementia Carers Count can support you and provide you with further resources.