Dementia causes memory loss, but memory loss alone doesn't mean you have dementia. The experienced team at Notre Dame Behavioral Health offers cognitive evaluations and provides compassionate treatment that eases symptoms, slows down progressive brain changes, and promotes the best quality of life. The team provides exceptional dementia care in local retirement communities and in the office. If you or a loved one are worried about memory loss, call the office in Surprise, Arizona, or book an in-person or telemedicine appointment online today.
Dementia generally refers to memory loss along with a decline in your ability to think, reason, and communicate. The memory loss associated with dementia causes severe changes that disrupt your daily life. Additionally, dementia results in a progressive decline in your cognitive abilities.
The four primary types of progressive dementia include:
Alzheimer's accounts for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. This type develops as beta-amyloid proteins build up outside neurons (nerve cells) in your brain. At the same time, tau proteins accumulate inside the nerve cells. As the proteins spread and destroy more neurons, the affected brain areas shrink.
This type of dementia develops as proteins called Lewy bodies accumulate in the brain.
Frontotemporal dementia also arises from neuron degeneration due to abnormal amounts of several types of proteins. This type begins in a different part of the brain than Alzheimer's.
Vascular dementia occurs when fatty plaque or blood clots interrupt blood flow to the brain. As a result, treatment for vascular dementia targets the underlying cardiovascular conditions.
Dementia causes symptoms such as:
Memory loss is usually the earliest symptom of Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia. Then other symptoms appear as the disease progresses.
The first symptoms of frontotemporal dementia include dramatic personality and behavioral changes. For example, people may lose their inhibitions or start binge eating. As this disease progresses, they eventually lose their memory.
Unfortunately, there are currently no cures for dementia. The caring team at Notre Dame Behavioral Health focuses on prescribing medications that can improve your symptoms.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved several medications for Alzheimer's disease. One drug, called aducanumab, slows down the progressive nerve destruction by reducing beta-amyloid proteins.
Another group of Alzheimer's drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, reduce or stabilize symptoms related to memory, thinking, and language. These drugs can also improve the symptoms in people with Lewy body dementia. However, they don't help frontotemporal dementia.
Your provider may also prescribe medications that target specific symptoms or conditions. For example, they might recommend a drug to ease anger, reduce compulsions, or treat depression.
When you or a loved one face dementia, you can depend on the personal and compassionate care available from Notre Dame Behavioral Health. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature today.