What are the Different Types of Dementia?

Many people think of dementia as a disease when it is actually a general term that refers to an impairment of memory, thinking, or making decisions that interferes with everyday tasks. Dementia occurs with changes in the brain when the brain’s nerve cells (neurons) stop working properly. However, the underlying cause of dementia is often unknown.

When finding care for your loved one with dementia, it is important to be familiar with the different types and the ways they can affect seniors.

While there are many types of dementia, there are three most commonly recognized and diagnosed by medical professionals.

Alzheimer’s disease: The most common diagnosis of dementia in older adults is Alzheimer’s disease. WebMD states that experts think 60 to 80% of those with dementia have this disease. Alzheimer’s dementia usually results from abnormal protein buildup in the brain (amyloid plaques and tau tangles), along with a loss of connections between nerve cells. PET scans can detect these changes while the patient is still alive.

Vascular dementia: People with vascular dementia have vascular changes in their brain, such as a stroke or an injury to small blood vessels that carry blood to the brain. The white matter of the brain, which relays messages between regions, may also change in people with vascular dementia. These changes can be observed on an MRI.

Lewy body dementia: LBD is characterized by abnormal deposits of alpha-synuclein in the brain, also called Lewy bodies. Problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood are common symptoms.

Find the Right Dementia Care

Understanding which type of dementia is affecting your loved one and building a plan around it will help get them the care them need. Here at Heather Hill Healthcare Center, we believe that Alzheimer’s and Dementia should not change the quality of life our residents receive and we work tirelessly with our residents on maintaining a sense of identity and a strong sense of purpose. 

Heather Hill Health Care Center in New Port Richey, Florida, has a secure memory care unit with specially curated activities to enjoy in a safe environment. Give us a call at (727) 849-6939 to learn more about our memory care services.

Skip to content