Surviving dementia depends in large part on the type involved, but in most cases it does reduce lifespan. Often the actual cause of death is not dementia, but other health problems arising out of the disorder such as pneumonia.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease usually live between eight and 10 years after diagnosis, although some live up to 20 years. On average, Lewy body dementia patients live seven years following diagnosis. In the case of frontotemporal dementia, survivability is between five and 10 years. The life expectancy after diagnosis of Huntington’s disease is about 15 years.
Despite the certain progressive nature of the disorder, early diagnosis and effective treatment significantly contribute to increasing the potential for surviving dementia more years. Doctors encourage patients and their families to focus on quality of life rather than on just the survivability of dementia.