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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes dementia?


  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and … View Profile

    There are many different illnesses that cause dementia symptoms. The most common are: Alzheimer's disease, Vascular damage (‘mini strokes’, that cause symptoms known as ‘Vascular dementia’), Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), Huntington's disease, Alcohol related dementia (Korsakoff's syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia accounting for between 50 – 70% of all dementia cases.

    In many cases, the illnesses that cause dementia can start many years, or even decades before the first dementia symptoms appear

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington's disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease have one thing in common, though the details differ.
     
    In each of these diseases a normal brain protein (Alzheimer's disease; Abeta, Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies; alpha-synuclein, Huntington's disease; huntingtin, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease; PrP) acquires a “wrong’ shape.
     
    This wrong shape is called amyloid. Amyloid is toxic (it kills neurons) which is the underlying explanation for why dementia happens in these diseases.
     
    Many labs all round the world (including mine) are working hard on this, trying to understand the basic science in the hope that we will be able to contribute to the development of effective treatments for these diseases.

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