Dementia Subtypes

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common CAUSE of dementia.  Although some people mix the terms up, Alzheimer’s disease is only one sub-type of dementia.  It has characteristic neuropathology (plaques and tangles seen on post mortem brain samples using a microscope).  Vascular dementia or a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is also very common.  Lewy body disease is the next most common cause of dementia, followed by frontotemporal dementia. Use the exercise below to find out which features suggest the various dementia sub-type. 

Match the following symptoms to the relevant dementia sub-type using click, drag and drop. Note: If you drag a descriptive to the wrong sub-type, it will go red.  If you drag it the right sub-type it will go green. Drag the descriptive until it goes green.

Objects to move

  • Multiple Cognitive Deficits
  • Early onset gait disturbance, falls and urinary incontinence
  • Disinhibition often prominent
  • Parkinsonism
  • Short and long term memory impairment
  • Early focal neurologic findings
  • Progressive aphasia and semantic aphasia
  • Aphasia and/or apraxia and/or agnosia and/or disturbance of executive functioning
  • Early loss of personal and social awareness (early personality and behavioural changes)
  • Mental rigidity, inflexibility, “concrete”
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Emotional lability and pseudobulbar palsy with speech/swallowing difficulties
  • Often younger age of onset
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Very sensitive to antipsychotics (causing rigidity)
  • Normal gait and posture
  • Disease course fluctuates
  • Speech and language disturbance
  • Can evolve in a stepwise fashion or progress insidiously
  • Cognitive impairment plus fluctuation in cognition, alertness and attention
  • Gradual onset, functional impairment, continuous decline

Alzheimers Disease

Vascular Dementia

    Lewy Body Disease

    Fronto-temporal Dementia