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Cheat Sheet for Dementia Subtypes

As there are numerous subtypes of dementia, it can be difficult to distinguish between the subtypes.  The following table summarizes four subtypes of dementia on various domains. [1][2]

 

 AD

 VaD

 LBD

 FTD

 History

Gradual onset and progression

 

 Abrupt or gradual onset

Stepwise or gradual progression

Insidious onset

Progression with fluctuations

Early onset, insidious onset

Rapid  progression

 Physical Signs and Symptoms

Normal gait, normal neurological exam in the early to mid stages

Gait abnormalities, signs of vascular disease and focal neurological signs

Shuffled gait, increased tone, tremors, slow moving

At the late stage, patients develop gait  abnormalities along with primitive reflexes

Other Signs and Symptoms

Memory loss, language deficits, mood swings and personality changes

Memory loss, language deficits, dysarthria, emotional lability, decreased concentration

Depression, hallucinations, variable in terms of day to day symptoms

Poor judgement, social withdrawl and socially inappropriate behaviour

 Imaging

Generalized atrophy with noted medial temporal lobe atrophy

Strokes, lacunar infarcts, white matter lesions are noted

Generalized atrophy throughout

Frontal and temporal lobes are atrophied

 Pathology

Beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles

Cerebrovascular disease due to common cerebrovascular risk factors

Lewy Bodies are present in both the cortex and the midbrain areas

Absence of plaques and tangles, Pick cells and bodies are present in the cortex

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1. Dugue M, Neugroschl J, Sewell M, Marin D. Review of dementia. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 2003; 70:45-53.

2. Dugue M, Neugroschl J, Sewell M, Marin D. Review of dementia. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 2003; 70:45-53.

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