What Causes Dementia

Damage to the neurons inside the brain causes you to lose memory in dementia. In Alexandria, Virginia, dementia is more common in elderly persons. Some people have genetic mutations that make them get dementia. These mutations can run in families, and therefore, having a first-degree family member with dementia increases your chances of getting dementia. Different people get different symptoms of dementia.

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There are different causes of dementia and some can be reversed with treatment. There is no specific way to prevent dementia but leading a healthy lifestyle with physical and mental exercise and eating a healthy diet is reported to lower the risk of dementia. Visiting a doctor at an Alexandria neurology clinic will help to find what is causing your dementia. If the cause of dementia is a treatable condition, the doctor will offer treatment.

What Are the Causes of Permanent Dementia?

1.      Alzheimer’s Disease

This is the most common cause of irreversible dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that is caused by neuronal damage due to gene mutations. A parent can pass these gene mutations to their children, increasing the likelihood of the children suffering from the disease later in life. People with Alzheimer’s disease get plaques of beta-amyloid protein and tau proteins in their brains, which is responsible for the nerve damage.

2.      Lewy Body Dementia

This type of dementia presents with an accumulation of the proteins in the brain that look like balloons. The symptoms of this condition include getting visual hallucinations, difficulty in paying attention, and sleepwalking. Lewy body dementia can also present with symptoms that mimic those of Parkinson’s disease including bradykinesia, the rigidity of muscles, and involuntary tremors.

3.      Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia develops when the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain get damaged. This disrupts normal blood circulation in the brain and the perfusion of nerve cells. Lack of blood flow in the brain may cause you to get a stroke due to ischemia or injure the white matter of the brain. Symptoms of this condition include difficulty in thinking, organization, and concentration; these are more common than memory loss.

Other causes of irreversible dementia include frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, which affects both the brain and spinal cord. Traumatic brain injury that occurs when you get repeated trauma to the head is also another cause of dementia that develops a long time after the trauma.

What Causes Reversible Dementia?

The causes of dementia that can heal after treatment include:

  • Infections of the brain and diseases of the immune system like multiple sclerosis
  • Nutritional deficiency of copper, vitamin E, and of the B complex vitamins that occur in alcoholics. Dehydration can also cause temporary dementia.
  • Heavy metal poisoning like lead can cause reversible dementia.
  • Subdural hematoma, brain tumors, and hypoxia may cause dementia.
  • Thyroid abnormalities and lack of enough sodium and calcium in the body may also cause dementia.
  • Depression, smoking, diabetes, and sleep apnea can increase your risk of dementia.

In conclusion, dementia occurs due to damage to the neurons in the brain. Some of the risk factors of dementia include advancing age and having a genetic predisposition to dementia. Permanent dementia can occur if you have Alzheimer’s disease, damage to the blood vessels in your brain, Parkinson’s, or Huntington’s diseases. Some of the causes of reversible dementia include nutritional deficiency, brain infections, and heavy metal poisoning.