Types of Dementia
Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these types of disorders. They include:
Other types of progressive brain disease include:
- Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia
- Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia
Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.
In addition, certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia. These problems should go away once the conditions are treated. These conditions include:
- Side effects of certain medicines
- Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- Certain vitamin deficiencies
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Blood clots, tumors, or infections in the brain
- Head injury, such as a concussion from a fall or accident
- Thyroid, kidney, or liver problems
Doctors have identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:
- Argyrophilic grain disease, a common, late-onset degenerative disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain disorder
- Huntington’s disease, an inherited, progressive brain disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeated traumatic brain injury
- HIV-associated dementia (HAD)
The overlap in symptoms of various dementias can make it hard to get an accurate diagnosis. But a proper diagnosis is important to get the right treatment. Seek help from a neurologist—a doctor who specializes in disorders of the brain and nervous system—or other medical specialist who knows about dementia.
Learn more about dementia from MedlinePlus.
For More Information About Types of Dementia
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
The National Institute on Aging’s ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
Lewy Body Dementia Association
1-844-311-0587 (toll-free LBD Caregiver Link)
Content reviewed: December 31, 2017