Unit 533 Essay

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Unit 533 - Understand the process and experience of dementia Learning outcome 1 - Understand the neurology of dementia 1. Describe a range of causes of dementia syndrome There are many different forms of dementia and each has its own causes. Dementia may also be a symptom that develops in the later stages of some illnesses. Some of the most common forms or causes of dementia include: • Alzheimer’s disease • Vascular dementia • Parkinson’s disease • Dementia with Lewy bodies • Huntington’s disease • Alcohol related dementia – Korsakoff’s syndrome • AIDS related dementia • Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for between 50 and 70 per cent of all cases. It is a progressive degenerative illness that attacks the brain. As brain cells shrink or disappear, abnormal material builds up as ‘tangles’ in the centre of the cells and ‘plaques’ form outside the cells. These disrupt messages within the brain, damaging connections between brain cells. The cells eventually die and this means that information cannot be recalled or assimilated. As Alzheimer’s disease progressively affects different areas of the brain, certain functions or abilities are lost. Vascular dementia Vascular dementia is the broad term for dementia associated with problems of circulation of blood to the brain. It is the second most common form of dementia. There are a number of different types of vascular dementia. Two of the most common are: Multi-infarct dementia – caused by a number of small strokes, called mini-strokes or transient ischaemic attacks (TIA). This is probably the most common form of vascular dementia. Binswanger’s disease (also known as subcortical vascular dementia) – associated with stroke-related changes to the brain.
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