What are the Causes of Dementia?

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on April, 2017

Dementia is directly caused by deterioration in the brain–typically the nerve cells in the cerebral cortex. Damage to the cerebral cortex leads to changes or impairments in cognitive processing, memory storage and retrieval processes, and even elements associated with personality. A person’s behavior, body language, and judgment may change as dementia progresses.

Not all types of dementia are progressive; some forms are temporary as when a person experiences dementia as a result of taking a strong medication with dementia side effects. Other causes of reversible forms of dementia include immune system disorders, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems, brain tumors, and anoxia. Reversible forms of dementia are less daunting to deal with than the types of dementia that are caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s. The dementia that is linked with Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and as of now, irreversible. Here are a few common causes of irreversible and progressive dementia.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a disease that actually causes dementia to occur in the brain. There is a genetic link to Alzheimer’s disease, which is why some people who are over 65 develop dementia and others do not.

2. Stroke. A stroke can damage blood vessels that carry blood to your brain, leading to dementia.

3. Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease can lead to lewy body dementia–a type of dementia that is caused by abnormal protein clumps that form in the brain.

4. Huntington’s disease. A condition caused by a genetic mutation, Huntington’s disease can cause dementia in people as young as 30 years old.

5. Brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can also cause dementia in young people.

6. Down’s syndrome. People with Down’s syndrome typically exhibit a form of early onset Alzheimer’s when they are relatively young.

7. Unknown or mixed causes. Not all dementias can be traced to a specific disease, condition, or traumatic event.

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