Causes of Dementia

Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects a person's mental function. Learn about the most common causes of dementia and how to recognize symptoms for early treatment.

Causes of Dementia
What are the causes of dementia?

What are the Causes of Dementia?

If you care for the elderly, knowing the causes of dementia can help. Recognizing if someone may be at risk for… or is suffering from this debilitating condition, can help seek early treatment.

Dementia is, not a disease but rather an umbrella term. A term that describes a number of medical ailments. These conditions affect a person’s mental function. The brain is damaged to the point that it interferes with basic daily functioning. The cause of dementia in a patient will differ from person to person. The condition can be the result of a variety of different ailments.

Aside from knowing about obvious symptoms and dementia signs… it is also important that you are aware of the most common causes from which dementia may develop. If the person you are caring for fits into one of these categories… you can expect that their risk of developing this condition is profoundly greater.

Taking them to see a doctor sooner, rather than later, will be the key to early detection. This will provide the patient with an active treatment plan that will allow them to stay in a high functioning state… as long as possible.

Reversible Causes of Dementia

Some causes of memory loss, cognitive impairment and various other dementia symptoms may not… permanently damage the brain tissue. Which allows, with treatment, for the condition to be reversible. Causes that may be reversible include:

  • Alcohol Consumption. One of the known temporary causes of dementia include excessive alcohol intake. The brain damage that causes the symptoms of dementia in seniors and in younger adults can be a result of… malnutrition, liver disease of vitamin deficiencies caused by long term alcoholism. If the patient refrains from alcohol intake and takes action to restore the body it is possible that the dementia symptoms will reverse themselves.
  • Head Injuries. Traumatic forces that cause injury to the brain such as being struck or falling … can induce dementia symptoms. In many cases, depending on the severity of the injury… symptoms can reverse themselves. Even up to a period of five years following the injury.
  • Characterized by a dangerous build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the open spaces of the brain… this condition has the potential to damage a person’s ability to function normally. Becoming one of the many causes of dementia. If detection comes early and the condition is treated… this will likely save a person’s life and help reverse the symptoms of dementia.

Irreversible Causes

In other cases, conditions that cause dementia symptoms may permanently damage the brain. This leads to permanent loss of cognitive function. Causes that will likely lead to permanent dementia include:

Alzheimer’s Disease.

Causing more than half of the cases of dementia reported... Alzheimer’s disease is the most common trigger for this condition. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease... abnormal deposits of protein work their way into the brain. They destroy healthy cells that are crucial to cognitive functions such as memory. While this disease is not reversible... certain medications can help slow down the development of the disease.

Parkinson Disease

Another causes of dementia... Parkinson disease typically presents with severe loss of motor function. This is followed by the possible development of dementia in the later stages of the disease. This is known as Lewy Body Dementia. While not all Parkinson’s patients develop dementia, it is common and irreversible. Lewy Body dementia is the second most common type of dementia and the one that is the most misdiagnosed.

Vascular Dementia.

Accountable for nearly 35 to 40 percent of reported dementia cases... vascular dementia is the third leading cause of the condition. Vascular dementia is often a result of hardened arteries in the brain. This restricts blood flow to brain cells, causing them to die.

These blockages will often also cause a number of blockages to different regions to the brain. Causing irreversible damage to the brain, diminished cognitive function.

Huntington Disease.

An unfortunate and terrible disease and one of the many causes of dementia. Huntington is a genetically inherited disease. It presents with symptoms often between the ages of 25 and 40. The condition causes critical brain cells to slowly waste away and die. Affecting a person’s reasoning, speech, mobility, memory and even judgment. While each patient’s experience is different... dementia is common in the later stages of the disease.

Not all causes of dementia are reversible. Even the most severe are treatable with medications that can help... keep the patient comfortable and slow the diminishment of cognitive function. If you or a loved one has one of the overlying conditions that are likely to cause dementia... seek medical advice to learn about your treatment options.

A debilitating medical condition, dementia, is not something that is avoidable. Certain health issues, lifestyle habits, and genetically inherited diseases... may put you at risk. Knowing the causes and the risk factors will not... prevent you from developing the dementia. It can readily help in allowing for early detection and treatment.

Lifestyle Changes May Delay or Prevent Dementia

Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.
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