Causes of Dementia

From a Dementia website. Some things that they feel can contribute to dementia. Thought I’d add this to my site because there was always a question in my mind as to what might have caused my husband’s dementia since there was no injury, no family history and he was afflicted at such a young age. He had had thyroid disease as a child and we both felt he still suffered from thyroid problems as an adult, but the normal thyroid tests did not show anything suspicious. He also had a surgery just before he became symptomatic and I heard that anesthesia sometimes triggered dementia. Who knows, but it was nice to see these markers.

What Other Conditions Can Cause Dementia?

Doctors have identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. Examples of these include:

  • reactions or side effects to medications;
  • metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities such as thyroid disease, hypoglycemia, too little (hyponatremia) or too much sodium or calcium (hypercalcemia), or the inability to absorb vitamin B12 (pernicious anemia);
  • nutritional deficiencies such as thiamine (vitamin B1), B6, or B12 and severe dehydration;
  • infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, untreated syphilis, and Lyme disease;
  • subdural hematomas where there is bleeding between the brain’s surface and its outer covering (the dura);
  • poisoning such as exposure to lead, other heavy metals, alcohol, recreational drugs or other poisonous substances;
  • brain tumors;
  • anoxia/hypoxia in which there is a diminished supply of oxygen to an organ’s tissues, for example heart attack, severe asthma, heart surgery, smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation, or an overdose of anesthesia; and heart and chronic lung problems disease that prevents the brain from receiving adequate oxygen, which can starve brain cells.
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