There are many different diseases that cause dementia. Alzheimer’s with its plaques and tangles of protein that invade the brain is the most common. The second most common cause is the result of an interruption to the blood supply to the brain caused either by a leak or a blockage. This may be the result of a stroke or a series of small strokes and has the effect of destroying brain cells giving rise to what is known as ‘vascular dementia.’ The symptoms are very similar to Alzheimer’s, short term memory loss, difficulties making plans and with finding the right word.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is another type of dementia associated with protein deposits in the brain called Lewy bodies. People with this kind of dementia may develop Parkinsons type symptoms including shaking. They may also have hallucinations and their ability to concentrate may vary from minute to minute. The symptoms people experience will depend, among other things, on which area of the brain is affected. It is also possible to have more than one kind of dementia, the most common combination being Alzheimer’s and vascular.
Unfortunately we still have no cure for any of the diseases that cause dementia and there is no sure way to avoid getting them but there are known life style risk factors. To give ourselves the best chance of avoiding dementia we should take regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and maintain a healthy weight. If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your head. If you want more information on any aspect of dementia, have a look at the Alzheimer’s Society website. It has a wealth of free, downloadable fact sheets that are very easy to understand.
For more information about the Wednesday Group, please contact Jan on 01777 709974.