Types of Dementia and Memory Loss

Robert and Mary's PlaceThere are 69 different forms of dementia or memory loss. Thirty-one of these are reversible. If a primary care physician has not been able to pinpoint the cause of dementia, the best course of action is to request an exam by a neuro-psychiatrist.

Degenerative Diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy Body disease
  • Pick’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease

Degenerative Diseases:

  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease (not all cases)
  • Cerebellar degenerations
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (not all cases)
  • Parkinson-ALS-dementia complex of Guam and other island areas

Rare genetic and metabolic diseases:

  • Hallervorden-Spatz, Kufs’
  • Wilson’s
  • late-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy
  • adrenoleukodystrophy

Vascular dementia:

  • Multi-infarct dementia
  • Cortical micro-infarcts
  • Lacunar dementia (large infarcts)
  • Binswanger disease
  • Cerebral embolic disease (flat, air, thrombus fragments)

Anoxic dementia:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiac failure (severe)
  • Carbon monoxide

Toxic dementia:

  • Alcoholic dementia
  • Metallic dementia (e.g., lead, mercury, arsenic, manganese)
  • Organic poisons (e.g., solvents, some insecticides)
  • Space Occupying Causes
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus (communicating hydrocephalus of adults)

Space-occupying lesions:

  • Chronic or acute subdural hemtoma
  • Primary brain tumor
  • Metastatic tumor (carcinoma, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma)

Traumatic dementia:

  • Dementia pugilistica (boxer’s dementia)
  • Head injuries (open or closed)

Infectious dementias:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • AIDS dementia
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (subacute spongiform encephalopathy)
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
  • Post-encephalitic dementia
  • Behcet’s syndrome
  • Herpes encephalitis
  • Fungal meningitis or encephalitis
  • Bacterial meningitis or encephalitis
  • Parasitic encephalitis
  • Brain abscess
  • Neurosyphilis (general paresis)