What Causes Dementia?

Some Diseases That May Cause Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease: It is the most common cause of dementia in about 60% of cases. The temporal lobe of the cerebrum, the “hippocampus,” atrophies. Another characteristic is that the pathological diagnosis shows a change called “senile plaques” (or amyloid plaques).

Symptoms begin with forgetfulness and progress gradually. Initially, the body moves well, but eventually, the cerebral function weakens, and the person becomes bedridden. However, treatment can slow the progression. [2]

Lewy body dementias: This is dementia due to atrophy of the temporal lobe of the brain. It is less common than Alzheimer dementia. Vivid hallucination due to atrophy of the occipital lobe and decreased activity are the most prominent features.

In addition to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms such as hand tremor, wiggle walking, stiffness of limbs, and loss of facial expression, autonomic symptoms such as constipation, incontinence, and lightheadedness may occur. [3]

Frontotemporal dementia: It is characterized by atrophy of the brain centered on the frontal lobe and temporal lobe, which make advanced judgments.

It becomes difficult to act according to the rules of society, and you may defecate in public or eat items that have not been paid at the supermarket. You may feel restless and repeat the same actions, but you may also become inactive and indifferent to things. This dementia type is also not very common.

Vascular dementia: It is the second most common cause of dementia. In this dementia type, blood vessels in the brain become clogged or torn, resulting in diminished brain function.

In addition to symptoms such as forgetfulness, movement disorders such as tremors and paralysis of limbs are characteristic. [4] [5]

There are also many mottled symptoms that appear and disappear. Drugs may be used to prevent vasodilation and blood clots.

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is also one of the common cause of dementia. Symptoms of dementia such as forgetfulness can be seen in addition to general malaise, weakness, and edema of the body parts. Taking thyroid hormone medication improves dramatically.

Chronic subdural hematoma, normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor, etc.: If these illnesses are the cause, surgery or treatment is likely to improve the symptoms of dementia. If dementia symptoms or motor paralysis appear after falling and hitting the head, it is suspected that chronic subdural hematoma or epidural hematoma is the cause. Normal pressure hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates and presses on brain tissues, causes symptoms such as dementia, gait disturbance, and incontinence. [6]