Dementia is a broad medical term that includes nearly 100 types of diseases of the brain. While different forms of dementia share common attributes including memory loss and mood disorders, dementia causes and treatments differ.
Although it affects the mood, thinking skills, and brain development, scientists classify dementia as a neurological disease, not a mental psychological illness. Though dementia strikes many elderly individuals over the age of 60, it is not a normal part of aging.
Characteristics of dementia
All people suffering the effects of dementia eventually exhibit the following impairments:
- Partial or complete loss of memory
- Personality changes
- Uncharacteristic behavior that persists
- Unusual outbursts
- Mood changes
Listed are some of the most common examples of brain damage from dementia.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most notable type of dementia. Scientists still do not know the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but they attribute 25% of Alzheimer’s disease dementia to genetics.
- Anoxic dementia results from not getting enough oxygen to the brain over an extended period.
- Traumatic dementia results from repeated brain injuries, concussions.
- Alcoholic dementia occurs after many years of intoxication.
- Multiple strokes in the brain may cause multi-infarct dementia, a type of irreversible vascular dementia.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a degenerative neurological disorder (brain illness) that is fatal and has no cure.
- Parkinson’s disease, during the later stages, causes a form of dementia.
- Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that causes dementia.
- Pick’s disease, like Huntington’s disease, is a rare brain disease that kills nerve cells.
- Binwanger’s disease is another form of vascular dementia.
- AIDS dementia complex, or HIV dementia, occurs during the advanced stages of AIDS.
Vitamin B12 for dementia
Vitamin B12 benefits brain health in many ways.
- Vitamin B12 maintains your nerve cell integrity by sustaining myelin, a fatty substance that coats your brain’s nerve cells and protects them from destruction, in addition to enhancing intercellular communication between the nerve cells.
- Vitamin B12 boosts memory in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia caused by age.
- Vitamin B12 aids in breaking down homocysteine, an inflammatory hormone that, in high levels, correlates with brain damage from dementia and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency causes cognitive and psychological decline, including memory loss, confusion, fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. These symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can go unnoticed in people already diagnosed with dementia.
- Good sources of vitamin B12 for dementia patients include vitamin B12 shots, sublingual vitamin B12 tablets or drops, and non-dietary over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplements.