Distinguishing Between Different Dementias [Infographic]


As people age, it is common to experience some loss of neurons in the brain. However, individuals with dementia experience a more significant decline, leading to a severe loss of brain function and also eventual death. Symptoms often begin mildly but also worsen over time. This article explores distinguishing between different dementias those are four main types of dementia: Alzheimer’s Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, and Vascular Dementia.

Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

What Is Happening in the Brain?

Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and also tau tangles throughout the brain.


Mild: Wandering and getting lost, repeating questions.

Moderate: Problems recognizing friends and family, impulsive behavior.

Severe: Inability to communicate.

Typical Age of Diagnosis

Mid 60s and above, with some cases in mid-30s to 60s.

Frontotemporal Dementia

What Is Happening in the Brain?

Abnormal amounts or forms of tau and TDP-43 proteins accumulate inside neurons in the frontal and also temporal lobes.


Behavioral and Emotional: Difficulty planning and organizing, impulsive behaviors, emotional flatness or excessive emotions.

Movement Problems: Shaky hands, problems with balance and also walking.

Language Problems: Difficulty making or understanding speech.

Typical Age of Diagnosis

Between 45 and 64.

Lewy Body Dementia

What Is Happening in the Brain?

Abnormal deposits of alpha-synuclein protein, called “Lewy bodies,” affect the brain’s chemical messengers.


Cognitive Decline: Inability to concentrate, disorganized or illogical ideas.

Movement Problems: Muscle rigidity, loss of coordination, reduced facial expression.

Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness.
Visual Hallucinations

Typical Age of Diagnosis

50 or older.

Vascular Dementia

What Is Happening in the Brain?

Conditions such as blood clots disrupt blood flow in the brain.


Cognitive Decline: Forgetting current or past events, misplacing items.

Problems with Instructions: Trouble following instructions or learning new information.

Hallucinations or Delusions: Poor judgment, hallucinations, or delusions.

Typical Age of Diagnosis

Over 65.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing dementia can be challenging because symptoms can overlap among different types. An accurate diagnosis often requires a medical history, physical exam, and also neurological and laboratory tests.

Currently, there is no cure for these types of dementia, but treatments are available to manage symptoms. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan.

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