Laurie Owen: Hi! I'm Laurie Owen from Home Instead Senior Care. In this video, myself and Dr. Jane Potter from the University of Nebraska Medical Center will help you better understand Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Dr. Jane F. Potter: Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders that affect memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. There are many types of dementia. Some of which may overlap with Alzheimer's disease. But each type of dementia is associated with distinct symptoms or signs and distinguishing brain abnormalities.
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Some early symptoms are difficulty remembering names and recent events, apathy, and depression. Other types of dementia include Vascular dementia, which results from brain damage caused by multiple strokes, Lewy body dementia which may include tremors, stiffness, and visual hallucinations, and Frontotemporal dementia with symptoms that include changes in personality and behavior that occur early in the disease.
Increasing evidence indicates that many people with dementia have more than one disorder present. This is called mixed dementia. The most common combination is Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia.
Though the precise cause is not known, most experts agree that Alzheimer's disease or another dementia likely develops as a result of multiple factors including advanced age, family history, cardiovascular disease, or a history of head trauma.
Laurie Owen: Sadly, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are very common. In the United States alone, the Alzheimer's Association said that in 2011 an estimated 5.
4 million Americans of all ages have a type of dementia and that number is expected to grow.
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, in 2010, more than 505,000 Canadians have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. And that is also expected to grow rapidly.
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are not a normal part of aging. Some researchers think you may lower your odds or delay the onset of getting dementia by exercising, eating well, staying socially active, and using your brain.