Diseases

Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia. Damaged tissue builds up in the brain and forms deposits called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ which cause the cells around them to die. It also affects chemicals in the brain which transmit messages from one cell to another.

Vascular dementia, where the arteries supplying blood to the brain become blocked which leads to small strokes when parts of the brain die as they are starved of oxygen.

Lewy body dementia is caused by small protein deposits in the brain, and symptoms closely resembles Parkinson’s disease

Fronto-temporal dementia is caused by damage to the front of the brain and is more likely to cause personality change

Many other illnesses can cause dementia. Physical illnesses which cause memory problems include:

* Kidney, liver or thyroid problems.
* Shortage of some vitamins (although this is rare).
* Chest or urine infections can lead to confusion and can be treated with antibiotics.
* Rarer conditions such as Huntington’s disease, which causes dementia in younger people.


Depression can cause a "pseudo-dementia" which can get better with antidepressants and talking therapy.

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