Mixed dementia, clinically known as dementia-multifactorial, is a combination of two or more types of dementia present at the same time. Because of the potential combination possibilities, mixed dementia can result in a vast range of symptoms. No matter the mixed dementia combination, the Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LIAD) Center can help those impacted, families, and their respective caregivers.
We offer a vast range of stage-specific day programs to help improve the quality of life of the individual living with mixed dementia. We also offer caregiver support groups and respite programs to help revive, refresh, and help caregivers. Let's take a closer look at mixed dementia to learn more about the condition.
A Closer Look at Mixed Dementia
As we previously mentioned, mixed dementia is a condition where abnormalities associated with more than a single type of dementia occur in the bran at the same time. The most common type of mixed dementia is where Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia coexist. In other cases, the individual develops Alzheimer's disease and Lewy bodies or Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy Body dementia.
However, autopsy studies indicate that most people age 80 or older have the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease along with blood vessel changes linked to vascular dementia. Regardless of the types, finding out that your loved one has multiple forms of dementia can be emotionally painful and hard to understand. The neurodegenerative condition worsens with age and can progressively diminish your loved one's ability to perform tasks associated with daily living.
What Causes Dementia?
However, many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy-body dementia, and dementia-multi-factorial are not a normal part of again. However dementia can result from brain-related changes, often associated with aging. In fact, up to half of all individuals age 85 or older may have some form of dementia. The brain changes come about when healthy neurons (nerve cells) stop functioning, disconnect from other brain cells, and die.
The loss of healthy nerve cells is greater in people living with dementia. Furthermore, studies suggest that the presence of two or more dementia conditions cause a greater impact on the brain and speed up the progression of dementia.
Signs and Symptoms of Dementia-Multi-Factorial
Dementia causes a decline in cognitive abilities, such as thinking, remembering things, making decisions, and difficulty carrying out familiar daily tasks. But when it comes to the mixed type of dementia, symptoms may vary based on the type of brain changes and the regions of the brain affected. Because several factors are involved, researchers are unable to clearly identify the true symptoms of mixed dementia. This means that your loved one may show symptoms of:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Vascular disease
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Parkinson's disease
- or another type of dementia
Symptoms may be indistinguishable in other cases.
Diagnosing Mixed Types of Dementia
Trouble identifying clear symptoms makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose combination dementia. One major problem experts face is measuring the dementia-related brain changes in individuals who are alive. However, a proper diagnosis is essential to helping your loved one get the right treatment.
Meanwhile, researchers are working on gaining a greater understanding of the connection between brain changes and a decline in cognitive functions in those impacted by the condition. At the moment, they perform autopsies of the brain to find the link between a participant's cognitive health and problems they were diagnosed with during their lifetime.
How Is Mixed Dementia Treated?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any specific drug for the treatment of multifactorial dementia. Therefore, treatment options are usually based on the type of dementia that has been diagnosed. For example, your loved one's doctor may prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's if the symptoms correlate with that disease. Physicians may also prescribe medication to treat heart or blood vessel diseases as a way of controlling vascular changes that affect the brain of individuals with vascular and another type of dementia.
How Can Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center Help
At the Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center, we offer education, support, and guidance to individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Our goal is to help make a real difference in the lives of those facing challenges associated with dementia and memory-related conditions.
By utilizing a structured, safe, and effective approach, we work to help prolong your loved one's abilities, maintain their independence, and help them find fulfillment in life. Some of the key services and solutions we offer include:
- Research-based programming for those living with Alzheimer's disease,
- Caregiver support groups,
- In-home respite programs,
- Transportation assistance,
- Music therapy, and
Contact the LIAD Center Today
Whether your loved one has a dementia diagnosis, you're a caregiver looking to navigate your way through a loved one's memory-related condition, or you're looking for ways to make an immediate impact in your community, the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center can help.
Contact Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center today at (516) 767-6856 or visit www.lidementia.org.