Causes of Dementia : Unravelling the Enigma

Dementia affects more than 55 million people globally, 60% of whom reside in low- and middle-income nations. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60–70% of cases and is the most prevalent type. The sixth largest cause of death and a significant contributor to dependency and disability in older persons is dementia. In this article we will discuss various Causes of Dementia and more.


Causes of Dementia
causes of dementia



Causes of Dementia

There are many different Causes of Dementia, including genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and medical ones. Even though the precise mechanisms are still not fully understood, research has identified a number of important factors that influence dementia development. We will discuss it further.


What is Dementia? 

Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of diseases which over time destroy nerve cells and damage the brain, typically leading to deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing.

While consciousness is not affected, the impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by changes in mood, emotional control, behaviour, or motivation  {WHO}


Common Types of Dementia

Multiple types of dementia can appear, and each has its own distinct traits. The most prevalent kind of dementia, accounting for 60 to 70 percent of cases, is Alzheimer’s disease. It is characterised by the buildup of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain.

Another common type of dementia is vascular dementia, which is brought on by diminished blood flow to the brain after a stroke or other vascular problems. Dementia also includes other types that are, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia, which involves a combination of different types. 


Understanding the Causes of Dementia

The causes of dementia are multifaceted and can be attributed to a combination of genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and medical factors. While the exact mechanisms are still not fully understood, research has shed light on several key contributors to the development of dementia. 


Dementia and Genetic Factors

Certain forms of dementia are significantly influenced by genetics. For instance, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is linked to mutations in the APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 genes. In addition, the APOE gene, particularly the APOE4 variant, is a recognised risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease with a late onset.

It is possible to spot those who may be more prone to developing dementia by understanding its genetic roots, which paves the way for early detection and individualised treatment strategies.

Environmental Factors and Dementia

Dementia can also develop as a result of environmental conditions, such as exposure to specific poisons and pollutants. Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked in studies to a higher risk of cognitive deterioration.

In addition, cognitive impairment has been linked to exposure to heavy metals including lead and mercury. In order to lower the likelihood of acquiring dementia, it is critical to limit exposure to these environmental factors. 

Lifestyle Factors and Dementia

The risk of dementia can be dramatically impacted by particular lifestyle decisions. Chronic stress, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating poorly, and a sedentary lifestyle have all been related to an increased risk of cognitive deterioration.

Regular physical activity, a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids, abstaining from smoking and binge drinking, managing stress, and engaging in regular physical activity can all help lower the risk of dementia.

Medical Conditions and Dementia

Dementia risk might be increased by specific medical disorders. Cognitive decline is more likely to occur in those who have diseases including hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Dementia risk can be reduced by controlling certain medical disorders by routine checkups, medication, and lifestyle changes.

Additionally, since diseases like despair and anxiety have also been related to an elevated risk of dementia, it is imperative to maintain good overall health, including mental health.

Age’s Effect on Dementia

The biggest risk factor for dementia is age. Dementia is substantially more common as people age, with people over 65 accounting for the bulk of cases. It is anticipated that more people will get dementia as the world’s population ages.

Age cannot be changed, but comprehending how it affects dementia can assist prioritise early identification and preventative interventions.


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Prevention Techniques to Lower the Risk of Dementia

Although dementia does not yet have a treatment, people can take precautions to lower their chance of getting the disease. Important preventive strategies include regular physical activity, eating a good diet, remaining cognitively and socially active, controlling chronic diseases, and shielding oneself from environmental dangers.

Additionally, reading, solving puzzles, and picking up new skills can keep the mind active and aid in maintaining cognitive function.


ALSO READ : Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: Unveiling the Warning Signs



The Causes of Dementia are numerous and diverse. For the purpose of creating successful preventative and treatment strategies, it is crucial to comprehend these causes, which include genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and medical variables.

People can lower their risk of getting dementia and improve their overall quality of life by adopting a comprehensive strategy that takes these numerous aspects into account. We can continue to solve the mystery of dementia and enhance the lives of individuals who are afflicted by this difficult condition via continued research and thorough assistance. 

Hope you find this article informative and useful. Don’t forget to drop your valuable comment down below as it is always appreciated. Thank You.



Disclaimer: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Thus, please see a registered medical professional for any health concern you may have. 


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