What’s the Difference
Is one of the more commonly asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease and
Let’s talk about the differences.
Alzheimer’s is a disease, dementia is not actually a disease but a collection of symptoms that occur when the brain cells stop working properly. You might also hear it described as a condition.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a set of symptoms including Alzheimer’s Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Frontotemporal dementia, and many other types, in all there are over one hundred types of Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used
interchangeably as many people believe that one means the other. In fact, the distinction between the two diseases often causes confusion for the patients, families and caregivers, see how the two, while related, are remarkably different.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a term used for different symptoms including impaired thinking and memory, it is a term that is often associated with the cognitive decline of aging. However, issues other than Alzheimer’s can cause dementia. Other common causes of dementia are Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia-causing as many as 50 to 70% of all dementia cases. In fact, Alzheimer’s is a very specific form of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include impaired thought, impaired speech, and confusion.
Doctors use a variety of screenings to determine the cause of dementia including blood tests, mental status evaluations, and brain scans.
How Are They Different?
When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms.
Don’t forget, that forgetfulness is a normal part of aging and not necessarily a sign that you may have dementia but if you
are at all overly worried about it, It is probably best to go see your doctor.
Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimer’s is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time
. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary. Once a cause of dementia is found appropriate treatment and counseling can begin. Until a proper diagnosis is made, the best approach to any dementia is engagement, communication, and loving care.