Beyond Alzheimer’s: 7 Common Forms of Dementia

May 14, 2018

common types of dementia

While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, there are other forms. Learn more about the unique symptoms and causes of 7 common types of dementia.

Alzheimer’s is by far in the most common types of dementia. It accounts for nearly three-fourths of all dementia diagnoses in this country. An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, and the numbers continue to climb. Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

While Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form, there are many other common types of of dementia. Many of these can be just as life altering. They range from Vascular dementia to Dementia with Lewy Bodies.

Less Common Types of Dementia

  1. Vascular dementia: This form of dementia occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Often it is a stroke that causes vascular dementia. Impaired judgment is usually the first symptom loved ones notice. There are varying degrees of severity related to the amount of damage caused to brain cells.
  2. Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB): Lewy bodies are protein clumps that form in the cortex of the brain that lead to dementia. Early signs of DLB include sleep problems, falls, balance issues, hallucinations, and uncontrolled movement. One thing to note is that some people who have Alzheimer’s disease also have DLB.
  3. Parkinson’s dementia: As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it often creates dementia. An estimated 50–80% of people with Parkinson’s will end up being diagnosed with dementia, too. Researchers think this is due to deterioration of the nerve cells in the brain. Memory loss, mood changes, depression, speech problems, paranoia, and delusions are all symptoms of Parkinson’s dementia.
  4. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD): The most common early signs of FTD are a change in personality and difficulty with verbal communication. The diagnosis of FTD sometimes takes a while because the disease impacts people at a younger age than Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Health care providers may struggle to reach a diagnosis.
  5. Huntington’s disease: This brain disorder usually occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can develop at any age. Common symptoms of Huntington’s disease include cognitive decline, as well as loss of control of the arms, legs, and face.
  6. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: When fluid builds up in the brain, it can cause a type of dementia known as Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. Loss of bladder control is a distinguishing trait of the disease. Other common symptoms include memory loss, falls, and balance problems.
  7. Mixed dementia: An increasing number of dementia experts believe that when a person has dementia, they likely have more than one form of it. This condition is referred to as Mixed dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia is the most common combination.

Because dementia can present unique safety concerns for families, many turn to memory care communities for support.

Memory Care at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living communities, our memory care program is called The Harbor. This nationally recognized program combines state-of-the-art technology with compassionate care and support. We extend an open invitation to families to visit The Harbor nearest them to learn more.