Of the four types of progressive dementia, Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-80% of all cases. Board-certified neurologist Risa Ravitz, MD, at Modern Migraine MD, provides compassionate care for people with dementia. Dr. Ravitz does a comprehensive cognitive evaluation, determines if you have progressive dementia, and creates a holistic treatment plan that supports your brain health and physical well-being for as long as possible. To schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment, call the office in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, Toms River, New Jersey, or Aventura, Florida.
Dementia refers to memory loss that occurs together with a decline in your ability to think, communicate, and reason. Your memory loss is significant enough to disrupt your life, and the changes get progressively worse.
There are four primary types of progressive dementia:
Alzheimer's develops as beta-amyloid proteins accumulate outside neurons in your brain, while tau proteins build up inside the nerve cells. As these proteins spread throughout your brain, they destroy more neurons, and that part of the brain shrinks.
Lewy body dementia occurs when proteins called Lewy bodies accumulate in your brain. Lewy bodies also cause Parkinson's disease dementia.
This type of dementia develops when several different proteins accumulate and cause nerve degeneration.
Vascular dementia occurs when decreased blood flow damages your brain. These changes occur gradually due to conditions such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases.
Each person with dementia develops symptoms at a different pace. However, they can expect to experience problems such as:
Memory loss is the earliest symptom of Alzheimer's. By comparison, frontotemporal dementia's first symptoms include dramatic behavioral and personality changes.
However, as all the dementias progress, they eventually cause the same symptoms. For example, people develop behavioral and personality changes in the late stages of Alzheimer's.
Dr. Ravitz at Modern Migraine MD does a comprehensive assessment for dementia and looks for other causes of memory loss that are treatable.
Dementia is also a symptom of health conditions such as immune disorders, endocrine abnormalities (thyroid problems), nutritional deficiencies, and brain tumors. Treating the underlying condition usually reverses the dementia.
If Dr. Ravitz diagnoses you with Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body dementia, she can prescribe medications that may improve your symptoms.
Some medications for Alzheimer's slow down the progressive nerve destruction by reducing beta-amyloid proteins; other drugs may slow down memory loss and improve thinking and language abilities in both types of dementia.
If you or a loved one have signs of dementia, call Modern Migraine MD or book an appointment online today.