Where Mild Cognitive Impairment Fits In
Diagnosing and determining the type of dementia a person has can also get tricky because some people dont have full-blown dementiathey have what doctors refer to as mild cognitive impairment or MCI. With dementia, Dr. Scharre says, you often need other people to do activities for you that you used to be able to manage on your own , but with MCI, you can still do those things even if you need a bit of prompting. So youre forgetful, youre less efficient, and maybe you need verbal clues, but you can still do the function yourselfthats MCI, says Dr. Scharre.
Warning Signs And Symptoms
The symptoms of dementia range in severity, and they also vary depending on the area of the brain that the condition affects. The most
- walking around for no apparent reason
- inappropriate behaviors, such as social and sexual disinhibition
Symptoms can take time to appear, and significant damage may be present before a person visits a doctor. This may make treatment more challenging.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is a physical disease that affects the brain. Abnormal structures called plaques and tangles build up inside the brain. These disrupt how nerve cells work and communicate with each other, and eventually cause them to die.
There is also a shortage of some important chemicals in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease. Reduced levels of these chemicals mean that messages dont travel around as well as they should.
Alzheimers disease usually begins gradually with mild memory loss. The person may have difficulty recalling recent events or learning new information. Other symptoms may include difficulties finding the right words, solving problems, making decisions, or perceiving things in three dimensions.
As Alzheimers progresses, problems with memory loss, communication, reasoning and orientation become more severe. The person will need more day-to-day support from those who care for them.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimers disease. However, treatments may temporarily ease some symptoms or slow down their progression in some people.
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Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
The Effects Of Alzheimers On The Brain
Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms appear. Abnormal protein deposits form plaques and tangles in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease. Connections between cells are lost, and they begin to die. In advanced cases, the brain shows significant shrinkage.
Its impossible to diagnose Alzheimers with complete accuracy while a person is alive. The diagnosis can only be confirmed when the brain is examined under a microscope during an autopsy. However, specialists are able to make the correct diagnosis up to
- behavioral changes
- difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking in advanced stages of the disease
Some types of dementia will share some of these symptoms, but they include or exclude other symptoms that can help make a differential diagnosis. Lewy body dementia , for example, has many of the same later symptoms as Alzheimers. However, people with LBD but are more likely to experience initial symptoms such as visual hallucinations, difficulties with balance, and sleep disturbances.
People with dementia due to Parkinsons or Huntingtons disease are more likely to experience involuntary movement in the early stages of the disease.
Treatment for dementia will depend on the exact cause and type of dementia, but many treatments for dementia and Alzheimers will overlap.
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Alzheimers Disease Symptoms Are Normal As We Get Older
Many people become more forgetful as they age, and some forgetfulness, such as losing things from time to time, is normal. However, common signs and symptoms of Alzheimers, such as making poor judgments and decisions a lot of the time, having problems recognizing friends and family, or losing track of the date or time of year are not a normal part of aging.
If you are worried about your memory or other possible Alzheimers symptoms, talk with your doctor. The doctor may ask questions about your health history, perform assessments of your thinking and memory, and carry out medical tests to determine your diagnosis.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimers disease.
Dementia Vs Alzheimers Are They The Same Thing
As a person ages, their chances of being diagnosed with certain diseases grows with them. For example, the elderly are more susceptible to diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimers than their younger counterparts. These two diseases commonly strike older patients and both are often used interchangeably when describing memory loss. What many people are unaware of is significant difference between Dementia vs. Alzheimers both diseases are different and affect patients in a different manner. Learning the differences in Dementia vs. Alzheimers is imperative for anyone facing either of these conditions themselves or as caregivers to others.
Alzheimers is a specific medical disorder that affects the memory portion of a persons brain. Dementia is not a specific disorder, but rather a culmination of several different symptoms. The leading cause of Dementia is actually Alzheimers disease it is attributed to at least 65% of Dementia diagnosis in patients older than 60. Unfortunately, neither Alzheimers nor Dementia is curable, which means patients diagnosed with either will only be able to slow the process, not reverse it. While at first glance the conditions seem similar, lets have a look at how theyre different by more closely defining each:
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Frontotemporal Dementia With Parkinsonism
One form of familial FTD, also known as frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism-17 , is caused by genetic changes in the gene for tau protein, located on chromosome 17. No other risk factors for this condition are known.
FTDP-17 is rare and accounts for only three per cent of all cases of dementia. Symptoms progressively get worse over time and usually appear between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition affects both thinking and behavioural skills and movements such as rigidity, lack of facial expression and problems with balance .
It can be distressing to be told that you have a genetic disorder or are at risk of having one. Genetic counselling provides the person and their family with information about a genetic disorder and its likely impact on their lives. This can assist a person with FTDP-17 to make informed medical and personal decisions about how to manage their condition and the challenges it presents to their health and wellbeing. Prenatal genetic counselling is also available for parents to help them decide about a pregnancy that may be at risk of FTDP-17.
Im Not A Scientist I Cant Do Anything To Help Fight Alzheimers Disease
Even if you are not a scientist, there are many ways that you can help advance Alzheimers disease research! Volunteers participating in clinical trials and studies have led to meaningful advancements in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimers. By joining a trial or study, you become a partner in helping researchers advance their knowledge toward effective diagnostics, treatments, and preventions. All types of volunteers are needed, including people living with dementia, caregivers, and healthy volunteers.
As a family member or friend of a person living with Alzheimers, you can also help by offering support, such as learning tips for communication or finding suitable activities. You can also offer help by supporting caregivers of people with Alzheimers or a related dementia.
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging . NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
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What Increases The Risk For Dementia
- AgeThe strongest known risk factor for dementia is increasing age, with most cases affecting those of 65 years and older
- Family historyThose who have parents or siblings with dementia are more likely to develop dementia themselves.
- Race/ethnicityOlder African Americans are twice more likely to have dementia than whites. Hispanics 1.5 times more likely to have dementia than whites.
- Poor heart healthHigh blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking increase the risk of dementia if not treated properly.
- Traumatic brain injuryHead injuries can increase the risk of dementia, especially if they are severe or occur repeatedly.
So How Do Alzheimer’s And Dementia Differ
Dementia in some way does sound much less scary to many people, and already the professionals have begun making use of the terms interchangeably.
Theyre not the same. Alzheimers disease along with dementia is a couple of completely different things.
Dementia is actually a symptom. Pain and discomfort is really a symptom, and lots of completely different problems and health problems may cause pain and discomfort.
Did you know
When you attend your doctors when youre hurting, you wouldnt be very happy if your doctor says its pain and tells you to go home. Youd like to know why you have the pain sensation, and the way to deal with it.
Dementia means the sign of a decline of mental capabilities caused by an unspecified disease or possibly condition with the brain.
Alzheimers disease is but one disease or disorder, which causes dementia. A number of other health issues or syndromes may also result in dementia.
Parkinsons disease could cause dementia. Strokes might cause dementia. In addition, lack of fluids can result in dementia.
Many of the issues that can result in dementia can be treated, in fact sometimes curable.
When you have taken your senior into the medical professional and been given the diagnosis of dementia youve not been given a diagnosis in the least. If you dont really know what causes the dementia you are unable to start treating it.
Did you know
How Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented?
Did you know
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Common Forms Of Dementia
There are many different forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form and may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Other major forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies , and a group of diseases that contribute to frontotemporal dementia . Dementia may also develop after a stroke or in the context of certain infections such as HIV, harmful use of alcohol, repetitive physical injuries to the brain or nutritional deficiencies. The boundaries between different forms of dementia are indistinct and mixed forms often co-exist.
Alzheimers And Dementia Treatment Options
Neither Dementia nor Alzheimers has a cure as of today. Medications and cognitive therapy can temporarily improve symptoms of both and can even prolong the inevitable however, these medications do not work on everyone. Cognitive therapy for Dementia patients can additionally help a patient learn to control his angry outbursts caused by frustration at being unable to remember or perform but a cure has not yet been found for either disease.
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What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
Dementia is caused by different diseases that affect the brain. Alzheimers disease is the most common of these diseases. Some other common types of dementia include vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
This means that dementia is not a disease in its own right. Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that commonly include problems with memory, thinking, problem solving, language and perception.
While there is a relationship between dementia and Alzheimers disease, there are key differences between the two.
Alzheimers Vs Dementia What Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers is a disease that typically strikes patients over the age of 65. Only 5 percent of the worlds population with Alzheimers is under the age of 65 and those people are in their 40s and 50s. This is a progressive disease it starts off slowly, perhaps even going unnoticed for months or years. Forgetfulness is a common symptom of Alzheimers a patient may begin forgetting small things such as the name of his street or the names of people he has known for years. Eventually, the disease worsens and memory loss becomes more prevalent. In late stage Alzheimers, patients become unable to carry on a conversation or remember anything from their lives. They will not recognize themselves in the mirror or even their own children. Life expectancy for an Alzheimers patient is approximately 8 years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, though each case is unique.
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Tips For Managing Repetitive Behaviour
- Try to be patient and keep your tone level and calm.
- If the person keeps asking about the time or date, consider putting a calendar or clock somewhere they can easily see it.
- Think about what need might be behind the behaviour. For example, if the person keeps asking if theyve been to the supermarket, they may be worried about running out of food.
- If the person keeps looking for a particular item, have an allocated place for it that is easy to see and access.
- Look at what may be triggering the behaviour for example, does this happen the same time of day or around the same people? See our information on identifying triggers.
- The persons life history is helpful to bear in mind. For example, if they used to work in a café, restaurant or pub, they may feel the need to keep wiping down surfaces.
- Distracting the person or engaging them in an activity they enjoy can help to shift their focus onto something else.
- Sometimes the persons repetitive actions seem anxious for example they repetitively zip and unzip their cardigan, twist their fingers or keep taking their glasses off and putting them back on again. If so, there may be products that can help to provide reassurance such as fidget or twiddle muffs or sensory blankets. You can find more ideas in our online shop.
- If the behaviour is not harmful or causing a problem, accept that the person finds it comforting and reassuring and let it be.
But Is Alzheimers The Same Thing As Dementia
Question: Is Alzheimers the same thing as dementia?
Answer: Alzheimers is to dementia.as chair is to furniture. Alzheimers is to dementia.as orange is to fruit. Alzheimers is to dementia.as beagle is to dog.
You got that? If so, stop reading now. You wont hurt my feelings.
If that doesnt make sense or you want to learn more, read on.
Dementia is a set of symptoms. These symptoms might include changes in memory and/or personality, poor judgment, inappropriate behavior, impulsiveness, attention problems, and faulty reasoning. Notice I mentioned that dementia is MORE than memory problems. As a society, we tend to think that getting dementia just means we get forgetful. We lose our keys. We call people by the wrong names. We forget what day it is. And thats a complete underestimation of how dementia can destroy a life.
People with dementia may show inappropriate sexual behavior toward family and friends. They may make racial slurs toward ethnic minorities at the grocery store. They might forget to pay their bills and find that their utilities are disconnected. It is common for people with dementia to wear clothing that is not appropriate for the weather . I once got a call from a woman who was horrified that her mother left her infant granddaughter home alonebecause she forgot she was babysitting.
So does someone with Alzheimers have dementia? YES. Does someone with dementia have Alzheimers? MAYBE.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Early
For most people with early-onset Alzheimer disease, the symptoms closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer disease.
Withdrawal from work and social situations
Changes in mood and personality
Severe mood swings and behavior changes
Deepening confusion about time, place, and life events
Suspicions about friends, family, or caregivers
Trouble speaking, swallowing, or walking
Severe memory loss
Causes And Risk Factors
The cause depends on the type, but the exact causes of many forms of dementia are currently unclear.
Dementia is not an inevitable part of aging, but age is one of the main risk factors. In fact, up to 50% of people aged 85 years and older may have a type of dementia.
Also, in the United States, around 11.3% of people aged over 65 years currently have Alzheimers disease, according to the Alzheimers Association. This number rises to 34.6% in those aged 85 years and older. Symptoms tend to worsen with age.
It is possible to develop dementia at a younger age, but the condition is more common among older adults.
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How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimers disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behavior changes. Research to develop more treatment options is ongoing.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining social contacts, decreases chances of developing chronic diseases and may reduce number of people with dementia.