Did you know there are many different types of dementia? We've taken a look at some of the most common forms.
We’re all different, which means no two people with dementia will be the same, and the symptoms and the way they behave will also be different. This is because dementia is caused by different diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. There are four main types of dementia, but it’s possible to have more than one of these.
Many of these diseases result from different toxic proteins building up in the brain, and each disease causes damage to a certain area of the brain. Alzheimer’s and other dementias often develop slowly over several years.
The early symptoms will be determined by what that part of the brain controls. While some symptoms may be common across the different diseases, others will be very specific to that form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is funding pioneering research across all these diseases, with the aim of finding ways to better understand, diagnose, treat and reduce the risk of dementia.
It’s possible to have more than one form of dementia.
Find out more about the four main diseases below:
- This is the most common form of dementia, with about 500,000 people in the UK living with
- Early symptoms can include regularly forgetting recent events, names and faces, and becoming
- A person may become unsure of their whereabouts or get lost, and become low in mood, anxious or irritable. As the disease progresses, daily activities like dressing, toileting and eating become more difficult.
- The second biggest cause of dementia is vascular dementia and can occur when blood flow to the brain becomes reduced. Vascular dementia can also develop after a stroke.
- While symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s, depending on the area of the brain affected, it may cause other issues. These could include problems with thinking skills, personality changes, along with movement and bladder problems.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
- Of the 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, around 100,000 will have dementia with Lewy bodies.
- Outside of the common dementia symptoms, people with DLB may find they have changes in
alertness, and symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease such as slowed movements and tremors.
- People may also experience visual hallucinations and sleep disturbances, along with fainting,
unsteadiness and falls.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
- FTD is thought to account for less than 5% of all dementia cases. It usually affects people between the ages of 45 and 64, but three out of every 10 people with FTD develop the disease at an older age.
- It is caused by damage to cells in areas of the brain called the frontal and temporal lobes. These areas regulate our personality, emotions and behaviour, as well our speech and understanding of language.
- Symptoms can include personality changes, lack of personal awareness, behaviour changes and
decline in language abilities.
Sadly, the diseases that cause dementia are terminal. But with your support, Alzheimer’s Research UK is working relentlessly to change this.