ii. Types of Dementia and Associated Pathophysiology
The aim of this content focus area is to provide an overview of the different
types of dementia and their associated pathophysiological features
By the end of this content focus area you will have an awareness about the
different types of dementia and the associated pathophysiological features
of these different types of dementia
Types of Dementia and Associated Pathophysiology
Many types of dementia have been classified and described .
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, and accounts for more
than 50 percent of dementia cases. The next most common form is vascular dementia,
which causes around 20 percent of cases. Other types of dementia include frontal
lobe dementia, Pick's disease, Lewy Body disease and alcohol-related dementia.
People may also develop dementia in relation to other conditions including
Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Down syndrome and HIV/AIDS.
Below are descriptions of the most common types of dementia :
- Alzheimer's disease is a physical disease which attacks the brain resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour.
- Vascular dementia is the broad term for dementia associated with problems of circulation of blood to the brain.
- Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration is the name given to dementia when there is degeneration in one or both of the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by the degeneration and death of nerve cells in the brain.
- Alcohol related dementia is, as the name suggests, a form of dementia related to the excessive drinking of alcohol. This affects memory, learning and other mental functions.
Resources and References
 AA (2007a) - [Click Here]
Activity 1: Differentiating Types of Dementia
Complete the following table by recording 2-4 distinguishing clinical features for each
of the listed types of dementia. Consider genetic factors, age, underlying pathophysiology
and clinical symptoms
Resources:  relevant fact sheet
Activity 2: Dementia Quiz Question
Please now access the references listed above and the answer the following questions:
Question 1 : Which one of the following is the most commonly occurring
type of dementia? (please select one)
Correct answer: Alzheimer's disease
Resource:  page 1
Question 2 : A 75 year old man presents with the gradual onset of
fluctuating cognitive impairment, together with un-explained falls, visual hallucinations
and Parkinson-like tremors. Which of the following the most likely cause of this
behaviour? (please select one)
Correct answer: Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Resource:  Dementia Lewy Bodies fact sheet
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