Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia which can be caused by a stroke or dementia with Lewy bodies. Frontemporal dementia and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease are also forms of dementia. But what are they, how are they caused and what are the symptoms?
What is it?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting an estimated 500,000 people in the UK.
It is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time.
The disease causes a loss of connection between nerve cells in the brain which can also lead to a loss of brain function.
Current research argues the disease is caused by a built up of proteins in the brain which are commonly known as ‘plaques’.
The earliest symptoms of the disease are lapses in memory – which caused by damage to the hippocampus, the centre of emotion, memory, and the nervous system.
People with the disease can also struggle with planning, get confused about the time of day or lose track of time.
It can also cause personalities to change, react in unexpected ways and cause people with the disease to repeat themselves.
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What is it?
Vascular dementia is a form of dementia which affects more than 150,000 people in the UK, however it can affect people in different ways – with symptoms developing suddenly after a stroke, or more gradually after an illness.
Symptoms occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with blood supply to the brain.
It can be caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels inside the brain, or a stroke, which causes the blood supply to the brain to be cut off, usually as a result of a blood clot.
While not everyone who has a stroke will develop vascular dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society said one in five people who have a stroke will develop post-stroke dementia within the following six months.
The condition can be caused by a series of mini…