Whether you’re concerned about changes with your memory or you have a family member whose thinking ability seems to be declining, it’s important to get early help from the team at Tidewater Neurology. Their expertise in helping dementia patients and their families has helped many to enjoy their best life despite managing the challenges of progressive memory loss. If you have questions about dementia care or would like to schedule an appointment, call the office in Mt. Pleasant, Goose Creek, or the West Ashley area of Charleston, South Carolina, or use the online booking feature today.
Dementia refers to a group of disorders that cause memory loss, a decline in thinking ability, and behavioral and emotional changes. There are many different types of dementia. Some are curable; others are not.
There are four primary types that there is no cure for and cause a progressive decline in memory and cognitive ability. The progressive dementias include:
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, develops when proteins accumulate around and inside the nerves in your brain. Over time, the clumps of protein enlarge and destroy more nerves, which affects your memory, thinking ability, personality, and behavior.
Vascular dementia, the second most common type of dementia, occurs when blood flow to your brain diminishes or is blocked. That can happen due to a blood clot, fatty buildup, or after a stroke.
This type of dementia is caused by an accumulation of proteins in the brain called Lewy bodies. People who develop Parkinson’s dementia also develop Lewy bodies in their brain.
Frontotemporal dementia also arises from clumps of proteins, but the proteins initially affect a different brain area than Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia. As a result, its early symptoms differ from the other dementias.
These are some of the most common symptoms of dementia:
Memory loss is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and vascular dementia. By comparison, personality and behavioral changes are the first symptoms of frontotemporal dementia.
Progressive dementias have no cure, but the Tidewater Neurology team can prescribe medications that ease symptoms. The FDA has approved at least six drugs for mild to advanced Alzheimer’s.
Most Alzheimer’s drugs improve memory, attention, and language. These drugs may also help patients with Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. One drug used primarily for Alzheimer’s diminishes protein plaques in the brain.
If you have frontotemporal dementia, your provider may prescribe antidepressants or other medications to ease behavioral problems. Patients diagnosed with vascular dementia need procedures to restore blood flow to the brain and medications to treat the conditions that cause blood vessel blockages.
You can receive comprehensive dementia care at Tidewater Neurology. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature today.