Dementia refers to a group of several different brain disorders. Symptoms of each vary but generally cause problems with brain function and memory loss.
The most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Lewy body dementia
- Vascular dementia
Parkinson’s disease can also cause dementia.
At Dignity Health Southern California, our neurologists can diagnose dementia symptoms and provide skilled treatment. To learn more about the care we offer for dementia in Southern California, use our online Find a Doctor tool to make an appointment.
What Causes Dementia
Dementia is not a normal consequence of aging as once thought. Every type of dementia is a disease process. What causes dementia depends upon the brain disorder:
- Alzheimer’s disease is associated with the production of tau protein and other abnormal structures in the brain.
- Vascular dementia is caused by disrupted blood flow to brain tissue. Risk factors include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and smoking.
- Lewy body dementia is caused by the buildup of a specific brain protein into an abnormal structure called a Lewy body. Parkinson’s disease and a family history of Lewy body dementia can increase your risk.
Identifying Signs of Dementia
Dementia symptoms may vary slightly, depending upon the specific type of brain disorder. In general, all dementia produces these symptoms:
- Difficulty with problem solving
- Poor reasoning and logic skills
- Loss of the ability to perform the activities of everyday living
- Progressive memory loss
Some types of dementia come on suddenly, while others take a slow, gradual course.
Dementia Prevention & Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
There’s no cure for dementia, but doctors can treat the symptoms to improve quality of life. The goal of most treatment strategies is to minimize the symptoms and preserve brain function, either through medication or assistance with daily living.
The best way to prevent dementia is to be proactive in keeping your brain active and healthy. You do this by:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Stimulating your brain with activities that make you think
Dignity Health doctors provide compassionate care for dementia in Southern California.