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Four lesser-known types of dementia you should know about

by , 25 March 2016

While Alzheimer's disease is the most common and frightening kind of dementia, there are other more uncommon types that are equally as devastating.

You've probably never hard of these before, and while they're very rare, it's still good to take note ... because Alzheimer's disease certainly isn't the only type of dementia out there.

Four rare types of dementia

#1: HIV-associated dementia (HAD)
This type of dementia results from infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes HIV-Aids. HAD can cause widespread destruction of your brain’s white matter. This type ofdementia involves impaired memory, apathy, social withdrawal and difficulty concentrating. People with HAD can also develop movement problems. There’s no specific treatment for HAD yet, but anti-retroviral treatment can delay the onset of it and can help reduce symptoms.
 
#2: Huntingdon’s disease (HD)
This is a hereditary disorder caused by a faulty protein gene called huntingtin. Children of people with this disorder have a 50% chance of inheriting it. HD causes degeneration in many regions of your brain and spinal cord. Symptoms usually begin in your 30s or 40s, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is 15 years. Cognitive symptoms begin with mild personality changes (such as irritability,anxiety and depression) that progress to severe dementia. There’s no treatment for HD.
 
#3: Corticobasal degeneration (CBD)
This disorder is characterised by nerve cell loss. CBD usually progresses gradually over the course of 6 to 8 years. Initial symptoms, which typically begin at age 60 or older, include poor determination and rigidity. They then progress into more serious matters, from memory loss to visual-spatial problems. CBD combined with a secondary health issue such as sepsis (severe infection of your blood) or pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs) often results in death.
 
#4: Dementia pugilistica
Also called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or Boxer’s syndrome, this disorder refers to dementia as a result of head trauma. Dementia symptoms usually only appear years after the trauma ends. Affected individuals usually also develop poor coordination and slurred speech. Other symptoms vary depending on which part of the brain the injury damaged.
 
PS: Go here to learn about why doctors call your gut your "second brain", plus some great tips to promote better gut health for improved brain function.

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