Understanding the types of dementia

You may understand this post better if you start at “What is dementia?“. Before we jump into the types of dementia, please remember that dementia is defined as ” a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.”. There may be several causes for the decline of mental processes. It is important to understand the core causes in order to manage the condition effectively.

Cortical and Subcortical Dementia.

The cerebral cortex is the outer surface of the cerebral hemisphere. It has about 20 billion neurons in the human brain which carry out functions such as thinking, remembering, planning, perceiving, producing, understanding and processing information.

The regions of the brain that lie below the cortex are termed “Subcortical“. This include important centers responsible for movement, hormone production, emotions breathing, temperature control etc.

The cortex and the the sub cortical structures constantly communicate with each other to make day to day functioning possible. Dementia can be split into two groups based on which part of the brain is affected.

Classification of dementia
Cortical DementiaSubcortical Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease.
Vascular dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Parkinson’s dementia.
Lewy body dementia.
Huntington’s dementia.
AIDS dementia complex.

Cortical dementia usually present with memory, language and behavioral disturbances while subcortical dementia presents with problems in movement. There will be a significant overlap between the two in later more severe stages of the disease.

It is important to understand what kind of dementia your loved one is suffering from so that you know what you can expect in terms of progression and symptoms. Continue to the next page for more information on the four common dementia types.

Pages: 1 2 3 4