Causes of Dementia

Dementia is caused by gradual changes and damage in the brain. The most common causes of dementia include diseases in which the brain cells degenerate and die more quickly than they would as part of the normal ageing process. This damage interferes with the ability of brain cells to transmit information. When brain cells are unable to communicate, a person's thought processes, behaviour and emotions can be affected.

The brain has many distinct regions, each of which is responsible for different functions. When cells in a particular region are damaged, that region is unable to perform its task normally. The figure below depicts the region of the brain and its responsibility together with the associated symptoms when cells in the region are damaged.
Brain functions
Source: Neupsykey

While most damages to the brain that causes dementia are irreversible and get worst over time, thinking and memory problems caused by the conditions below may improve when appropriate treatment are administered:
  • Depression
  • Medication side effects
  • Excess use of alcohol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Types of Dementia

The common types of Dementia are Alzheimer's disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and Fronto-temporal Dementia. Click on the respective factsheets to learn about their symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and support