Rare types of dementia

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There are many conditions that, in rare cases, can lead to dementia. Learn about them in this section.

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Corticobasal syndrome

Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes parts of a person’s brain to change over time. As a result of these changes, people living with CBS can experience increased difficulty with their coordination, movement, thinking and speech.

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Huntington disease

Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to die. People are born with the gene that causes HD, but symptoms don’t usually appear until mid-adulthood.

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Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable inflammatory disease that damages the central nervous system – including the brain. This damage can cause a wide variety of physical and cognitive symptoms.

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Niemann-Pick disease type C

Niemann-Pick disease type C is a very rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease that results from an abnormal processing in body tissues of fatty substances (lipids), particularly cholesterol.

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Normal pressure hydrocephalus

Normal pressure hydrocephalus is a rare neurological condition that is caused by an accumulation of an excess amount of cerebrospinal fluid in chambers of the brain, causing brain tissue to become damaged or destroyed.

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Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects the parts of the brain that control movement, resulting in tremors, stiffness, and slowness. Some people living with Parkinson's may also develop dementia in the later stages of the disease.

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Posterior cortical atrophy

Posterior cortical atrophy is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes damage and deterioration to the back, or posterior, region of the brain. That area of the brain is responsible for processing what and how we see.

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Progressive supranuclear palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes vision difficulties and loss of balance while walking. It is due to an abnormal accumulation of a protein called tau, causing parts of the brain to deteriorate over time.

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Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by a severe thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Parts of the brain may be damaged as a result of this deficiency, causing increased difficulty with memory, movement, vision and coordination.

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