There are different diseases that can cause dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and Frontotemporal dementia. These share a common feature – an excessive build up of proteins in the brain.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
In Alzheimer’s there are two culprit proteins, called amyloid and tau. They build up during the disease, become toxic and harm the brain and nerve cells. Amyloid makes sticky clumps or ‘plaques’ where as tau forms tangles, twisting inside cells and blocking them. In dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the culprit is a protein called ‘alpha-synuclein’. It forms tiny spheres which are toxic. During frontotemporal dementia several different proteins can build up.
There is a very interesting, comprehensive, interactive Tour of the Brain up on the Alzheimer's Research UK website.
The Brain Tour website explains how the brain works and the effects that Alzheimer's and other dementia's have on the brain, and the symptoms that are caused by the disease.
In my opinion, the more you understand about the brain, and what is happening in the brain of a person living with dementia, the more likely you will be able to deal effectively with challenging behaviors, and the various stages of the disease.
This understanding is the foundation of good Alzheimer's caregiving.
If you understand what is happening, and why it is happening, you will be better prepared to cope with dementia.
Go here to check out the Brain Tour.
More Insight and Advice for Caregivers
- How Alzheimer's Destroys the Brain -- Video
- Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Self Assessment Tests)
- What is Alzheimer's Disease?
- What is Dementia?
- What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
- Communicating in Alzheimer's World
- How the Loss of Memory Works in Alzheimer’s Disease, and How Understanding This Could Help You
- Learning How to Communicate with Someone Suffering From Alzheimer's Disease
- Alzheimer's World -- Trying to Reconnect with Someone Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease
- Does the Combination of Aricept and Namenda Help Slow the Rate of Decline in Alzheimer's Patients
- 100 Good Reasons to Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room Now
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room