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  • Kathryn Watson

What are the 5 Common Types of Dementia?


Understanding the Different Types of Dementia: Causes and Symptoms Explored

Dementia is a broad term that encompasses various types of cognitive impairment. It affects millions of individuals worldwide and can have a significant impact on their daily lives. In this post, we will delve into the distinct types of dementia, explore the common types of cognitive impairment, and discuss the causes of dementia. By gaining a deeper understanding of these topics, we can better support those affected by dementia and promote a more inclusive and informed society.


1. What are the distinct types of cognitive impairment?

- Cognitive impairment refers to the decline in cognitive abilities, such as memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Making decisions like where to turn when driving or how to operate household appliances may be affected. Managing finances and learning new things may also become more difficult.

- Different types of cognitive impairment exist, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which represents a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia.


2. What are the common types of dementia?

Common Types of Dementia

- Alzheimer's disease: Often referred to as the most common type of dementia, accounting for approximately 60-80% of cases. It is characterized by memory loss, confusion, and difficulties with language and problem-solving. However, many scientists believe that mixed dementia is more common. Many people with Alzheimer's disease also have another type of dementia.

- Vascular dementia: This type of dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, often due to strokes or other vascular conditions. This is why doctors often stress the importance of keeping your heart and cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. Symptoms of vascular dementia can include difficulties with decision-making, planning, and organizing.

- Lewy body dementia: Lewy bodies, abnormal protein deposits, are found in the brains of individuals with this type of dementia. Symptoms may include visual hallucinations, Parkinson 's-like movement problems, and fluctuations in attention and alertness. This dementia received a lot of publicity and awareness when it was discovered that actor Robin Williams suffered from the disease.

- Frontotemporal dementia: This type of dementia primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to changes in personality, behavior, and language skills. This dementia has had a lot of publicity after actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with it.

- Mixed dementia: This occurs when an individual has more than one type of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, simultaneously. This is probably the most common form of dementia with Alzheimer's Disease a close second.


3. What are the causes of dementia?

Common Types of Dementia

- Alzheimer's disease: The exact cause is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The progression of Alzheimer's disease is slow sometimes spanning 20 or more years. Research shows that making lifestyle changes early in the disease can slow the progression even more. This can mean many years of quality life.

- Vascular dementia: This type of dementia is caused by impaired blood flow to the brain, often due to conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. A lifestyle change may help keep vascular dementia at bay. Additionally, know the symptoms of a stroke or a TIA ( sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke). Prompt medical attention can help to avoid further complications.

- Lewy body dementia: The formation of abnormal protein deposits known as Lewy bodies is thought to play a role in this type of dementia. No one really knows the exact cause of Lewy Body Dementia. However, it is most likely a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that contribute to the disease.

- Frontotemporal dementia: Genetic mutations are often associated with this type of dementia, although the exact cause is not fully understood. This form of dementia is usually found in a younger population. Ages 40 to 65 is when frontotemporal dementia usually begins. Getting a diagnosis in the early stages can improve the quality of life for the victims and their families.

- Other causes: Dementia can also be caused by factors such as traumatic brain injury, HIV infection, and certain medications.




Understanding the different types of dementia and their causes is essential for providing appropriate care and support to individuals affected by these conditions. By raising awareness about the distinct types of cognitive impairment, the common types of dementia, and their causes, we can work towards fostering a more compassionate and knowledgeable society. Let us strive to create an inclusive environment that embraces individuals with dementia, ensuring that they receive the care, understanding, and respect they deserve.

In honor of our founder Pat Mack, we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in "The Light Heart Way" 

Light Heart Memory Care homes are specially designed for 8 residents. This gives us the ability to give personalized care to each and every resident.

Contact us to learn more about Light Heart Memory Care, or book a free consultation.

Phone: 281.282.0770 Email:

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