Causes

In clinical practice, the three most common types of dementia are as follows:

• vascular (multi-infarct, arteriosclerotic) dementia (VaD)

AD accounts for 60-70 per cent of dementia cases; the three common types probably together account for over 90 per cent of cases in clinical practice. Most clinical cases would probably have contributions from more than one of the pathologies indicated, if the cellular pathology were examined under the microscope (although brain biopsy in vivo is rarely done in dementia because it will not in most cases change management).

Dementia can also be classified according to neuropathological and other research information. Such classifications vary but would include dementia of AD type, Lewy body dementia (LBD), Pick's disease, Huntington's disease, and the prion diseases.

A general account of dementia is given below, followed by a description of some individual conditions.

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