Different forms of dementia

Dementia can be divided into different forms. The best-known forms are Alzheimer’s, Vascular dementia, Lewy Body Dementia and Korsakoff’s syndrome. What are the risk factors and can you actually prevent dementia? The best-known forms of dementia:

    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
    • Vascular dementia
    • Karsakov’s syndrome

Alzheimer’s disease

How Alzheimer’s disease develops is explained above. In this variant of dementia, the process that causes accumulations in the brain often occurs about ten years before the first symptoms become visible. More than half of all dementia patients suffer from this form of dementia.

Risk factors:

    • The older you get, the greater the chance of Alzheimer’s.
    • If it already runs in the family, the risk of Alzheimer’s increases by two to three times compared to someone who does not have it in the family.
    • Women over 70 are also two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men around this age.
    • Children with Down syndrome also have an increased risk.
    • Mothers who have had a child with Down syndrome also have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. An elderly woman is more likely to have a child with Down syndrome. When a young person has a child with Down syndrome, this may indicate faster aging of her cells.
    • Someone who has suffered a serious blow to the head can suffer brain damage. If a blow causes visible brain damage, this is called vascular dementia, but if the blow causes small brain damage that is not visible, there is an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
    • So smoking and being overweight also cause poor blood circulation. Not only in the body but also in the brain. The chance can be two to six times higher!!!
    • Depression in old age.
    • With a good social life, the risk of Alzheimer’s decreases
    • Research shows that exercise reactivates cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s patients. This would mean that exercise also reduces the risk.
    • Poor nutrition
    • Alcohol consumption.

How can you reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s?

    • Intensive use of the brain appears to counteract the aging of brain cells.
    • Exercising a lot, as mentioned above, also reduces the risk.
    • Women who take the hormone estrogen during menopause also have a smaller risk of Alzheimer’s.

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

The cause of this form of dementia is the same as that of Alzheimer’s, but these accumulations occur in other parts of the brain. Characteristics of this form are mainly hallucinations and delusions in the initial phase. This form of dementia was only discovered at the end of the last century.

The danger of this syndrome is that the initial phase is very similar to Parkison’s disease. Namely disorders while walking, slowness in movements. These people are given a medication to combat this, which actually worsens the hallucinations and delusions. Sometimes medications are given to counteract this, which either cause even more unrest or cause extreme drowsiness.

Vascular dementia

This form of dementia occurs in approximately 10% to 15% of all dementia patients. Vascular dementia is caused by poor blood circulation in the brain. Unlike other forms of dementia, vascular dementia progresses from one moment to the next. For example, due to brain damage. The consequences of this brain damage do not occur gradually, but once you have the brain damage you notice all the consequences immediately. In other forms of dementia, a process first follows that can be divided into different phases over several years. What is possible is that everything gradually gets worse due to various brain haemorrhages. This phenomenon can be caused by various conditions.

Vascular dementia can arise because poor blood circulation has caused cerebral infarctions, strokes or cerebral hemorrhages. The cause of poor blood circulation can be related to smoking, weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a metabolic disease.

There are also risk factors for vascular dementia:

    • Diabetes patients.
    • People with elevated cholesterol levels.
    • TIAs (minor cerebral hemorrhages) in the family.
    • Disorders near/in the arteries.
    • Cardiac arrhythmias.

Korsakoff’s syndrome

Korsacov’s syndrome is also called alcohol dementia. This name is due to the fact that this form of dementia often occurs in alcoholics. Alcoholics often have poor eating habits and this causes a deficiency of a number of vitamins that are very important for the brain. This concerns vitamin B1. Unlike other forms of dementia, you can stop the breakdown of brain cells by eating vitamin B1. The damage may remain, but it will not get worse.

Memory in particular is affected by this form of dementia. Things that have recently happened are quickly forgotten. Things that happened in the past are told as if they happened yesterday. The order is just not always correct. The gaps in his memory that are still open are filled with fantasy stories. The person with Korsakoff’s syndrome thinks that what he says is really true. So it’s actually an honest lie.

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