What is Mixed Dementia?
Mixed dementia is the condition in which two forms of dementia coexist.
An Alzheimer’s Association research study into mixed dementia describes it as ‘a condition in which a person has more than one type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is the most common type’.
Due to our ageing population, the number of people with dementia in the UK is continuing to increase. Although Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65, it can also affect those under this age.
Types of Mixed Dementia
Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
As indicated, one of the most common forms of mixed dementia is when a person is diagnosed with both Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although far less common, other combinations are also possible, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy bodies.
Alzheimer’s disease is where a build-up of proteins forms blockages and tangles, which in turn can cause nerve cells to die and brain tissue to be lost. This causes chemical messages to be interrupted, affecting a person’s cognitive abilities.
Vascular dementia relates to reduced blood flow around the brain. If blood vessels are damaged due to strokes, mini-strokes, or gradual deterioration, this can mean that the blood flow providing oxygen and nutrients to the brain is affected.
Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer’s Disease
The less common form of mixed dementia is the combination of Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy bodies.
Lewy bodies are protein deposits that form in the brain and can affect a person’s movement. Those affected with Lewy body disease may experience disturbed sleep, hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, and sudden changes in the ability to function without help.
Symptoms Of Mixed Dementia
The symptoms of dementia can cause a decline in a person’s cognitive abilities, such as:
– Processing information
– Decision making
– Having Difficulty with day-to-day tasks
– Fluctuating Moods
– Struggling with communication
– Memory loss
This is not an exhaustive list as the symptoms of mixed dementia may vary depending on the types of dementia that have been diagnosed as well as the areas of the brain that have been affected.
Care Home Services for people with Mixed Dementia
As with any type of dementia, the need for care and support for someone with mixed dementia will increase over time. Care homes can offer specialist dementia care, allowing your loved one the opportunity to live out their later years in a comfortable and dignified way, while you have the peace of mind that they are receiving expert care.
So, if you or a loved one have received a mixed dementia diagnosis and would like to learn more about the dementia care services available within care homes, please visit our ‘Dementia Care‘ page, or find one of our excellent care homes near you.