Dementia refers to a group of neurological conditions that affect memory and brain function.
Types of dementia include Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Our expert neurological team at Dignity Health North State helps patients and their families manage all stages of dementia in Northern California. Find a Doctor to get treatment and support for dementia symptoms.
Symptoms of dementia may be mild at first and progressively get more severe. Some types of dementia take years to develop, while others come on very quickly. All forms of dementia have similar symptoms, including:
- Progressive memory loss
- Poor reasoning and logic skills
- Difficulty with problem solving
- Loss of the ability to perform everyday activities
Causes of Dementia
The cause of dementia depends on the type:
- Lewy body dementia is caused by the buildup of protein deposits called Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies reduce levels of the brain chemical dopamine and damage specific parts of the brain responsible for memory, motor control (movement), and thinking. Known risk factors include family history (heredity) and Parkinson’s disease.
- Vascular dementia is caused by disrupted blood flow and poor circulation in small vessels that supply brain tissue. Causes of reduced blood flow include fatty plaque deposits and blood clots. Known risk factors include smoking, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure.
- Alzheimer’s disease is caused by abnormal structures in the brain as well as a buildup of tau protein. In most cases, it is not known how the abnormal structures originate or change brain function. Alzheimer’s can be inherited (passed down through families).
Dementia Treatments at Dignity Health North State
There is no cure for dementia, so treatment strategies revolve around preserving brain function, reducing the severity of symptoms, and improving quality of life. Dignity Health North State doctors may suggest dementia treatments such as medications to stabilize mood or improve cognitive function. As the disease progresses, you or your loved one may also require assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
Talk to the neurology team at Dignity Health to learn more about our personalized care for dementia in Northern California.
Dignity Health North State hospitals provide treatment for all types of dementia in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.