There are many variations of dementia syndrome but there are certain causes that are more common. These are: Alzheimer’s: Scientists know that during Alzheimer’s two abnormal proteins build in the brain. They form clumps called either ‘plaques’ or ‘tangles’. These plaques and tangles interfere with how brain cells work and communicate with each other. The plaques are usually first seen in the area of the brain that makes new memories. A lot of research is focused on finding ways to stop these proteins in their tracks and protect brain cells from harm. Early Onset Dementia: is the term used to describe Alzheimer’s which develops before the age of 65 years. It accounts for around 5% of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Three genes have been identified which can play a role in the development of early-onset Alzheimer’s. These genes are called: Amyloid precursor protein (APP)
Presenilin 1 (PSN1)
Presenilin 2 (PSN2)
All three genes are involved in the production of a protein called amyloid, which is known to build up into toxic plaques in the brain during Alzheimer’s. Mistakes in these genes (known as mutations) are not common, but can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s at a younger age and are associated with very rare familial forms of Alzheimer’s disease. In familial forms of Alzheimer’s, many members of the same family are affected at a young age. Vascular dementia is caused by blood flow to the brain being reduced. Blood carries essential oxygen and nourishment to the brain and without it brain cells die. The network of blood vessels that carry blood around the body is called the vascular system. Stroke-related dementia happens after a stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly cut off. This may cause difficulties in moving, problems with co-ordination, speech and sight. If a stroke causes memory loss and problems with attention, then a person may be diagnosed with post-stroke dementia. Multi-infarct dementia is caused by a series of small strokes in the brain, which a person might not notice. Subcortical vascular dementia or vascular cognitive impairment is caused by a series of small injuries to blood vessels deep inside the brain. A person usually does not notice these injuries and their cause is not yet known. Over time many of these injuries gradually damage parts of the brain that are important for attention, memory and language. Lewy Bodies: Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by small, round clumps of protein that build up inside nerve cells in the brain. These are named Lewy bodies after Dr Frederich Lewy, who first identified them. The protein clumps damage the way brain cells work and communicate with each other. The nerve cells affected by Lewy bodies control thinking and movement. Researchers do not yet know what causes the protein to build up, but work is underway to try and find out why it happens and ways to stop it. Frontotemporal dementia: (FTD) is caused by a variety of abnormal proteins building up in the brain. The nerve cells affected are in areas of the brain called the frontal and temporal lobes. The frontal lobes are involved in regulating our personality, emotions and behavior, as well as reasoning, planning and decision-making. The temporal lobes are involved in memory and the understanding and production of language. As the disease progresses, other parts of the brain become affected.
2. Memory impairment commonly experienced by individuals with dementia can be: * Problems with their memory and thinking.
* Learning new information can become very difficult
* They may not remember recent events, appointments or phone messages. * They may forget the names of people or places. This can lead to problems with even simple daily activities. * They may struggle to understand or communicate with others. * A common problem is that they have difficulty finding the right word for everyday objects or the...