A significant number of people diagnosed with dementia are found to have tiny spherical structures called Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of their brains. It is thought these may contribute to the death of brain cells. The symptoms of this form of dementia are often mild at the outset and can be extremely variable from day to day.
Common symptoms include:
- Fluctuation in the condition
- Visual hallucinations
- Extreme sensitivity to classical anti-psychotic medications leading to marked symptoms of stiffness, tremor and restriction of movement
Dementia with Lewy bodies sometimes occurs with Alzheimers disease and Vascular dementia.
Picks Disease causes progressive and irreversible decline in a persons abilities over a number of years. It is a rare disorder of the frontal part of the brain which can be very difficult to diagnose. The disease usually appears between 40 and 65 years of age.
Disturbances of personality, behavior and language may come before, and initially be more severe than, memory defects.
Huntingtons Disease is an inherited degenerative brain disorder which affects the mind and body. Huntingtons Disease affects approximately 7 in every 100,000 people in the western world. The disease usually appears between 30 and 50 years of age. Huntingtons Disease is characterized by intellectual decline and irregular, involuntary movement of the limbs or facial muscles. Other symptoms include:
- Personality change
- Memory disturbance
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgment
- Psychiatric problems
There is no treatment available to stop the progression of this disease, but medication can control movement disorders and psychiatric symptoms. Dementia occurs in the majority of Huntingtons Disease cases.