Mixed dementia is a condition whereby a patient has more than one type of dementia-related condition. These conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and/or Lewy body dementia. Some mixed dementia patients may even be affected by all three conditions. People above the age of 75 years old are more susceptible to mixed dementia. Regardless, patients need much support, and we offer a memory care living option at Discovery Village At Dominion!
Symptoms Of Mixed Dementia
The symptoms of mixed dementia vary, depending on the types of dementia conditions experienced. This also influences the kind of brain changes involved.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The symptoms include linguistic challenges, memory loss, and susceptibility to confusion.
Meanwhile, symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the affected brain region. Vascular dementia is associated with slower mental functions and information processing, problem-solving challenges, and difficulties with short-term concentration.
Lewy body dementia is typically marked by inconsistent sleep patterns and visual hallucinations. People affected by Lewy body dementia do not suffer memory loss the way Alzheimer’s disease patients do. However, Lewy body dementia patients may experience oscillation in their regular day-to-day functioning.
Nevertheless, the symptoms in mixed dementia may be difficult to differentiate from one dementia condition to another as more research is needed to discover the link between cognitive faculties and brain dysfunction.
Research has also shown that symptoms are more apparent with mixed dementia patients. Mixed dementia may have a greater consequence on brain health compared to patients affected with one dementia only.
Causes Of Mixed Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is the most common combination for mixed dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is attributed to faulty proteins being accumulated around the brain region associated with memory.
Meanwhile, vascular dementia stems from blood supply in the brain which may be affected by a stroke experience or small blood vessels degenerating over time. This affects the way nutrients and oxygen are supplied to the brain cells, hence affecting brain function.
Lewy body disease is usually caused by faulty proteins that are also present in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Treatment For Mixed Dementia
There is no existing cure for any type of dementia. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also not officially approved any drugs used to specifically treat mixed dementia.
However, medical treatment can help improve cognitive function over a period of time. Medication such as cholinesterase inhibitors can aid brain cell interaction and maintain mental processes. Some medications used to control conditions like heart disease or diabetes can also help to prevent changes in blood supply in the brain and maintain mental processes.
As patients are often diagnosed with only one dementia condition, they are usually prescribed with medication associated with their diagnosed dementia. Unfortunately, medication cannot reverse or prevent further damage in the brain associated with mixed dementia.
Nevertheless, therapy can complement existing medical treatment too. Some of the therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive stimulation therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, and reminiscence therapy. These therapies enable mixed dementia patients to sustain a meaningful and quality life.
Quality Living For Mixed Dementia Patients
In Discovery Village At Dominion, we offer a variety of therapy sessions and professional care for mixed dementia patients. Contact us to find out how to offer the best care possible for your loved ones.