Search For A Cure
Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
What Causes Dementia?
Dementia symptoms stem from a wide range of causes. Some of the causes are distinct brain diseases, and others are neurological events that result in changes in brain function. The most common causes of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases. The disease results from abnormal protein clusters in the brain that interfere with and damage healthy neurons.
- Vascular dementia. The second-most common cause of dementia happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, often because of a stroke, injury, or other neurological events. This kind of dementia more often causes problems with thought processes than with memory loss.
- Lewy body dementia. This form of dementia is also linked to abnormal protein clumping in the brain, and it is associated with Parkinson’s disease as well as Alzheimer’s. Common symptoms include hallucinations and physical tremors.
- Frontotemporal dementia. This type of dementia is associated with the degeneration of neurons in the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes, the parts of the brain responsible for personality and language.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Repetitive injuries to the brain over time can eventually cause symptoms of dementia. This type of dementia often affects athletes who experience traumas to the head frequently.
Other causes of dementia include brain tumors, nutritional deficiencies, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, thyroid problems, infections, and medication side effects.
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