Other Dementia Causes

Shortcuts
Several other conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia, and a small percentage of dementias are reversible. Two common examples are dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or thyroid dysfunction. Dementia could be a symptom of pernicious anaemia

Symptoms

In older people, the first symptoms of pernicious anaemia are often confusion, slowness, irritability, and apathy. An overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), as well as an underproduction (hypothyroidism), can cause dementia-like symptoms. The Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is an irreversible state of confusion and amnesia in alcoholics, resulting from thiamine deficiency due to long-term malnutrition. But consuming excessive amounts of alcohol for a decade or more can also cause impaired thinking that resembles Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

 

In dementia due to alcoholism, memory, orientation, and attention deteriorate, although verbal skills are not always severely affected. In this type of dementia, abstinence may partly restore mental functioning. Normo-pressure hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, which can also cause dementia. This condition can result from head trauma, brain haemorrhage, or meningitis (inflammation of the membrane covering the brain), but most cases occur spontaneously without an obvious preceding illness.

 

In addition to developing dementia, people with this condition lose bladder control and walk in a slow, hesitant manner, as if their feet are stuck to the floor. Brain tumours can interfere with cognitive functioning and cause personality changes. Depending on their location, they can trigger other symptoms, such as headaches, seizures, or vomiting. Hematomas are blood clots caused by bruising. When they are located in the subdural area, between the brain surface and the thin membrane that covers it, they can cause symptoms that mimic AD.

See more
See less
1 Consultation
Initial consultation with a specialist physician.
2 Assessment
Appointment with a neuropsychologist in the Neuropsychiatric Laboratory for computerized, detailed assessments of cognitive deficits and other neuropsychiatric issues associated with dementia.
3 Testing
Blood tests and imaging scans, outsourced to the highest quality and convenient centres in London.
4 Follow-Up
When all results are available, a 2nd consultation with the doctor, where clinical diagnosis & follow-up strategy are discussed and explained.

Diagnosis

Getting the right diagnosis is important so that you know what options you have because symptoms subside when the underlying problem is treated. At Dementech Neurosciences, our team of doctors can provide a rapid and accurate diagnosis of these reversible forms of dementia.

See more
See less

020 8015 0026

Book an Appointment

Loading...
Dr Lucio D’Anna
Consultant Neurologist

Dr Lucio D’Anna obtained his MD with Honours at the Medical School of the University of Udine, Italy and then he completed his Neurology training with Honours.

Dr David Choluj
Lead Neurologist for MS

Dr David Choluj is a Consultant Neurologist with a further extensive experience in Stroke Medicine and Neurological Rehabilitation, based in London.

Prof. K. Ray Chaudhuri
Parkinson's Disease Expert

Professor K. Ray Chaudhuri is a world-renowned expert in Parkinson's disease. He is Professor of Neurology/Movement Disorders & Consultant Neurologist at King’s College Hospital & King’s College London and also Principal Investigator at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute.

Prof. Aarsland Dag
Geriatric Psychiatry

Dag Aarsland is Professor and Head of Department of Old Age Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, and Consultant psychiatrist at the Mental Health for Older Adults, South London & Maudsley NHS Health Trust, where he leads the Parkinson Spectrum Memory Clinic.

Dr. Vinod Metta
Lead Interventional Neurologist

Dr Vinod Metta, consultant interventional neurologist & movement disorder specialist trained at Kings College Hospital London.