What are the different types of dementia?

We look at some common types of dementia.

There are more than 100 different types of dementia. An individual may have a combination of different types; the combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is particularly common.

Common types of dementia

The most common dementia types are: 
  • Alzheimer’s disease 

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is caused by damage to the nerve cells in the brain and results in forgetfulness, trouble with speech and difficulty with everyday tasks.   

  • Vascular dementia

    Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It is caused by tiny strokes in the brain and affects behaviour, speech and functioning. 

  • Dementia with Lewy bodies

    Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by tiny protein deposits (Lewy bodies) being present in the nerve cells in the brain. They disrupt normal brain function, causing difficulties with memory, language and reasoning. 
Concerned elderly woman

Other types of dementia

There are other, less common types of dementia including:
  • Frontotemporal dementia

    This group of disorders is caused by progressive cell damage in the frontal lobe (front part of the brain) or temporal lobe (area of the brain behind the ears). Symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may include changes in behaviour, personality and language, more so than forgetfulness. 

  • Alcohol related dementia
     
    People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can also develop dementia. 

  • Early onset dementia

     Early onset dementia is rare and is used to describe the onset of any type of dementia before the age of 65. It is also referred to as younger onset dementia, younger onset Alzheimer’s or early onset Alzheimer’s. 
Some people may also develop dementia as a result of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or AIDS/HIV, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone disease and Down Syndrome. 
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