Each type of dementia has its own characteristics and causes. The most common types of dementia are:
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 60-80% of dementia cases. Characterised by the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain, damaged brain cells affect memory, thinking and behaviour.
Vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the brain, which can be the result of stroke or other conditions that affect blood flow to the brain. Symptoms can include problems with memory, language and decision-making.
Lewy body dementia is caused by the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain, known as Lewy bodies. It can cause problems with movement, as well as altering mood, behaviour and thinking.
Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which can affect behaviour, language and decision-making. It can signal the early onset of Alzheimer’s too.
Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) is caused by the build-up of alpha-synuclein protein in the brain, damaging cognitive function and causing memory problems, language difficulties, changes in mood and behaviour, as well as imbalance, tremors and stiffness.
Huntington’s disease is a rare genetic brain disorder that causes problems with movement, emotions and thinking. As the disease progresses, it can make it harder to walk, talk and swallow as the disease progresses.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare brain disorder caused by abnormal prion proteins damaging nerve cells. This leads to rapid mental and physical decline – memory loss, personality changes, problems with coordination, balance, speaking and swallowing.
Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles (cavities) of the brain. Symptoms vary, but may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, balance problems, and cognitive difficulties.
Mixed dementia is a combination of two or more types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.