Dementia can be caused by a number of conditions and diseases. Some of the diseases that can cause symptoms of dementia are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The most common causes in elderly people are Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia. Doctors have identified other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms including:
- Reactions to medications
- Metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Brain tumors
- Hypoxia (conditions in which the brain’s oxygen supply is either reduced or cut off entirely)
- Heart and lung problems.
Although it is common in very elderly individuals, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. Dementia is rare in individuals under 60, but risk increases as individuals increase in age.