Other Dementias

There are over 100 types of dementia. And many types have variations or sub-types. Dementia can also present as being “mixed” where a person can have more than one type at the same time. Here are some additional types:

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a prion disease, is one of the rarest forms of dementia. CJD  reportedly affects around one person per million per population per year.

The CJD Foundation tell us the main indications leading to a possible diagnosis of CJD are rapid dementia and one or many of a range of neurological symptoms including unsteady gait, hallucinations and sudden jerking movements.

According to HDReach, the latest estimates show 30,000 Americans have Huntington’s Disease (HD) and it’s estimated another 150,000 Americans have a 50% risk of developing HD.  This is the same prevalence as ALS or Cystic Fibrosis.

Huntington’s disease is a rare and incurable progressive genetic disorder where people may experience behavioral disturbances, cognitive decline, and involuntary movements. One of the many startling facts about HD is that it can strike at any age, with peak age at onset being between 35 and 50 years old. Additionally, each child of an HD-affected parent has a 50% chance of developing HD in their lifetime. 1,000 people in North Carolina are living with HD and 5,500 are at risk. 

Wernicke’s encephalopathy, is a type of brain disorder that’s caused by a lack of vitamin B-1. At a certain point, the physical symptoms of untreated Wernicke’s disease tend to decrease, and the signs of Korsakoff syndrome start to appear.

Korsakoff Syndrome is a memory disorder caused by advanced Wernicke’s disease. People with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can be a result of malnutrition or chronic infections. However, the most common cause for this vitamin deficiency is alcoholism.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a condition that causes a person to build up excess fluid in the brain’s ventricles. The ventricles are fluid-filled spaces designed to cushion a person’s brain and spinal cord. They rely on just the right amount of fluid to work properly. When the fluid builds up excessively, it places extra pressure on the brain. This can cause damage that leads to dementia symptoms. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an estimated 5 percent of dementia cases are due to NPH.

Seeking treatment as early as possible can help a doctor intervene before additional brain damage occurs. NPH is one of the types of dementia that can sometimes be cured with surgery.