Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

What’s the Second Most Common Type of Progressive Dementia?

Oct 22, 2014 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Yes Alzheimer’s disease is first—60 to 80 percent of dementia cases have some Alzheimer’s component, with half of those solely involving Alzheimer’s pathology. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia—very common in the elderly—and something called Lewy body dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)—the second most common form according to the Mayo Clinic. It is caused by protein deposits (the Lewy bodies) that develop in nerve cells in regions of your brain involved in thinking, memory, and movement.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people with DLB have some of the symptoms common in Alzheimer’s but are more likely to have initial or early symptoms of sleep disturbances, well-formed visual hallucinations, and slowness of gait imbalance or other parkinsonian movement features. These symptoms can manifest without signs of memory impairment.

Some other diseases may mimic dementia as part of the symptoms, but those effects can be reversed with treatment. No actual dementia can yet be reversed. And this includes Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

--Sarah Hagerty