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How To Know If It’s Dementia Or Alzheimer’s

Is There Anything I Can Do

Easy Test to Find Out if You May Have Early Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s

If your memory is OK but you’re still worried, there may be something you can do about it. People who spend time reading, solving puzzles, or otherwise staying engaged are less likely to get Alzheimer’s. It’s possible that these activities can help you to keep your mind sharp. It’s also a good idea to lower your stress, eat right, and exercise.

Withdrawal From Work Or Social Activities

At times everyone can become tired of housework, business activities, or social obligations. However a person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or appearing to lose interest in hobbies.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned about a friend or relative, visit your doctor and discuss your concerns.

Its Not So Rare: Everything You Wanted To Know About Dementia But Were Scared To Ask

Around 55 million people all over the world suffer from dementia, and this number is increasing rapidly, expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not a natural consequence of growing old. Its a disease that can be managed pretty well, especially in the early stages and you should always seek help if you notice alarming symptoms in the way you or your loved ones behave.

Today, we are going to talk about everything you need to know about dementia what it is exactly, how it manifests itself, in whom it occurs most often, ways of managing it and supporting the person with this diagnosis. Some of those can seem scary, especially if you have already encountered dementia in your life. However, remember that today, it can be managed well, research on beating it is still running, there are plenty of articles on dementia care on the internet, and, most importantly youre not alone.

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Is Your Memory Slipping

We all forget things sometimes, especially when life gets busy. You may start to notice this happening more often as you get older. Mild memory loss can be a normal part of aging. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have dementia. Only 1% of people over age 65 with normal age-related memory issues will get dementia each year.

Who Is This Dementia Quiz For


Below is a list of 10 questions designed for people who are concerned about memory loss. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have been diagnosed with dementia, a neurocognitive disorder, and are based on criteria in the DSM-5 .

Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.

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Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.

Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.

Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.

Specific symptoms can include:

  • stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
  • movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
  • thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
  • mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional

Read more about vascular dementia.

Evaluating The Latest Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Research

A recent review of research looked carefully at the evidence on ways to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s dementia or age-related cognitive decline. Led by a committee of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine , the review found “encouraging but inconclusive” evidence for three types of interventions:

The evidence for other interventions, such as medications and diet, was not as strong. However, scientists are continuing to explore these and other possible preventions.

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Anxiety And Insomnia Medications

Benzodiazepines, a class of medications used to treat anxiety or insomnia, comprise another group that has been linked with cognitive difficulties. Although these medications are truly a blessing for some individuals immobilized by anxiety, their use can be accompanied by sedation and mental slowing. A recent study even suggested that prolonged use of benzodiazepines might be a risk factor for later dementia, although experts have questioned the significance of this finding and clinicians continue to prescribe anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam or sleeping pills such as temazepam and consider them very beneficial when used properly.

What Are The Symptoms Of Early

Communicating with Someone Who Has Alzheimers or Dementia

For most people with early-onset Alzheimer disease, the symptoms closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer disease.

Early symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from work and social situations

  • Changes in mood and personality

Later symptoms:

  • 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

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What Kind Of Doctor Tests For Dementia

A primary care doctor can perform a physical exam and find out more about your symptoms to determine what may be the cause. They will likely refer you to one or several specialists that can perform specific tests to diagnose dementia. Specialists may include neurologists, who specialize in the brain and nervous system psychiatrists or psychologists, who specialize in mental health, mental functions, and memory or geriatricians, who specialize in healthcare for older adults.

Struggle With Everyday Tasks

Having trouble using that TV remote? Forgot how to set the microwave? If you need a little help now and then with those kinds of things, it’s likely nothing to worry about. But if you have problems doing regular activities you’re used to doing, like driving to places you always go, playing favorite games, or finding your way at the grocery store, it may be a sign of a more serious memory issue.

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What Are The Risk Factors

  • Age: The risk of developing dementia increases with age. The average age of onset is 65 years old.
  • Gender: Men have a higher risk of developing dementia than women do.
  • Genetic factors: There are several genetic disorders that increase the risk of developing dementia. These include Downs syndrome, Parkinsons disease, Huntingtons disease, and Alzheimers disease.
  • History of head trauma: People who have had head trauma have a higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease.
  • Family history: If someone in your family has developed dementia, you are more likely to develop it too.

The Importance Of Reminiscence

What you should know about vascular dementia

You need to be able to talk about going to the market to get your goat meat, and about cooking, about food.

You need to look at pictures of those houses full of crochet blankets, those houses where you go in and there is a front room and a back room and remember how the front room was saved for special visitors and you lived in the back room. Those pockets of houses with verandas and palm trees.

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How To Diagnose Alzheimers Vs Dementia

Alzheimers is a progressive and fatal brain disorder. Dementia is not a specific disease, but an umbrella term that defines a syndrome and used to refer to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Alzheimers is one of the most common causes of dementia. Both Alzheimers and dementia are diagnosed using a variety of different assessments and tests, including a physical exam, lab tests, cognitive and neuropsychological tests, and an analysis of changes in behavior.

We Ask People Who Are Going To The Caribbean To Bring Back Pictures So That We Can Have Reminiscence Groups Where People See What They Were Familiar With In Their Childhood

One of the main things to me is music, a steel band. Music is very much part of my life, its part of Caribbean life. How can I forget the music that comes in all styles and the instruments that go with that theme such as the steel pans or drums?

Barbers and hairdressers need to be trained to understand dementia, to talk to their clients because that would have been a big part of their life, to go to the barber or the hairdresser.

In the later stages for families its a real hunt to find a care home that both caters for people with dementia and can accommodate Black people, that understands the culture.

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What Is Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimers is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for about 60% to 80% of dementia cases.

As previously mentioned, Alzheimers occurs when there are high levels of proteins in the brain preventing nerve cells from connecting. This eventually leads to brain tissue loss and brain cell death, slowly causing impairment in memory and cognitive function.

With Alzheimers disease, patients may experience apathy, depression, disorientation and behavioral changes and have a hard time speaking, swallowing or walking and recalling recent events or conversations.

Just like diagnosing other forms of dementia, there is not one test to identify if a patient has Alzheimers disease, says Dr. Parulekar. A team of experts neurologists, neuropsychologists, geriatricians and geriatric psychiatrists will work together to identify signals of Alzheimers. Brain imaging and scans, neurological exams, cognitive testing and physical evaluations are all part of the testing process.

More than 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimers disease, the National Institutes of Health reports. While younger people can develop Alzheimers disease, its symptoms are more common in people over 60.

To learn more about dementia or Alzheimers disease or to make an appointment with one of our specialists, visit

What Happens If You Have It

Why does a Person Not Know They Have Dementia? || The “Why” Series

“Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. “In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.”

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. A person with Alzheimer’s lives, on average, four to eight years after diagnosis but can live as long as 20 years.

Although Alzheimer’s currently has no cure, there is one treatment, a drug called aducanumab that may slow cognitive decline, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

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Symptoms In The Later Stages Of Dementia

As dementia progresses, memory loss and difficulties with communication often become severe. In the later stages, the person is likely to neglect their own health, and require constant care and attention.

The most common symptoms of advanced dementia include:

  • memory problems people may not recognise close family and friends, or remember where they live or where they are
  • communication problems some people may eventually lose the ability to speak altogether. Using non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions, touch and gestures, can help
  • mobility problems many people become less able to move about unaided. Some may eventually become unable to walk and require a wheelchair or be confined to bed
  • behavioural problems a significant number of people will develop what are known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia”. These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations
  • bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence
  • appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia. Many people have trouble eating or swallowing, and this can lead to choking, chest infections and other problems. Alzheimer’s Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking

Dementia Home Care Services

While it can be particularly hard on a family member providing care, especially if a senior is battling with dementia and anger. Professional resources are available to help seniors with dementia live safely and comfortably. Visiting Angels provides specialized in-home dementia care services for seniors with early-stage, mid-stage, or late-stage dementia. Our caregivers help people with dementia maintain quality of life inside their own home. We also provide family members with much-needed respite care.

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When Forgetfulness Is A Problem

If memory loss makes it hard for you to handle your daily tasks, that’s a sign you shouldn’t ignore. Are you forgetting things you only just heard? Asking the same question over and over again? Relying on lots of paper or electronic reminders just to get through the day? Talk to your doctor if you or your family notices that happening to you.

What’s The Bottom Line On Alzheimer’s Prevention

Dementia :Its Symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and the best strategy to prevent or delay it may turn out to be a combination of measures. In the meantime, you can do many things that may keep your brain healthy and your body fit.

You also can help scientists learn more by volunteering to participate in research. Clinical trials and studies are looking for all kinds of peoplehealthy volunteers, cognitively normal participants with a family history of Alzheimer’s, people with MCI, and people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

To find study sites near you, contact NIA’s Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral Center at 1-800-438-4380 or . Or, visit the Clinical Trials Finder to search for trials and studies.

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How It’s Diagnosed


A doctor must find that you have two cognitive or behavioral areas in decline to diagnose dementia. These areas are disorientation, disorganization, language impairment, mood change, personality change and memory loss. To make an evaluation, a doctor typically takes a patient history and administers several mental-skill challenges.

Thanks to growing medical consensus that irritability, depression and anxiety often flag dementia before memory issues do , doctors also ask more about changes in mood or personality, Lyketsos notes.

To check for cognitive decline, a doctor will ask whether a patient is experiencing just forgetfulness or, potentially more indicative of dementia, also having trouble figuring out calculations such as a restaurant tip, Petersen says. A physical exam can be important for flagging something like specific types of dementia caused by vascular disease or Parkinsons disease.

Next, a standard and fairly brief round of memory and thinking tests is given in the same office visit. In the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, for example, you try to memorize and then recall a list of 12 words and a few similar words may be thrown in to challenge you. Another test also used to evaluate driving skills has you draw lines to connect a series of numbers and letters in a complicated sequence.


Where To Get Help

  • Your local community health centre
  • National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
  • Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
  • My Aged Care 1800 200 422
  • Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
  • Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
  • Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers

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The Signs Of Normal Ageing And Dementia

The table below lists some of the possible changes due to both normal ageing and early dementia. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different and not everyone with dementia will have all of these changes.

Other conditions may also account for some of them. For example, a person with depression can have problems making decisions, get confused easily and appear withdrawn or irritable.

Treating Alzheimers Disease Vs Other Types Of Dementia

Top 3 signs your loved one with dementia needs nursing home care

Neither Alzheimerâs nor most other types of dementia have a cure. Doctors focus treatments on managing symptoms and keeping the disease from getting worse.

Some of the treatments for dementia and Alzheimerâs overlap.

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors can help with memory loss in certain types of dementia and Alzheimerâs.
  • Glutamate inhibitors help with learning and memory in both dementia and Alzheimerâs.
  • Sleep medications may help with sleep changes.
  • Antidepressants can help with depression symptoms.
  • Antipsychotic medications may help with behavior changes.

Some types of dementia respond to treatment, depending on what is causing it. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Stopping the use of drugs and alcohol
  • Tumor removal

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What Is Dementia And What Causes It

Dementia is a syndrome that causes a person to develop difficulty and problems with their memory or their ability to think. Unlike the normal changes that happen in a persons memory and thinking over time, dementia affects someones ability to function in their daily life activities and their normal routine .There are different causes of dementia. These causes are typically underlying neurological conditions . One common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease. Other causes include diseases that impact brain blood vessels. For example, strokes may cause what is commonly termed Vascular Dementia. Some causes include Lewy Body Disease and Parkinsons disease.

What Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Dementia

The term dementia refers to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Often, people who experience subtle short-term memory changes, are easily confused, or exhibit different behaviors or personality traits are mistakenly thought to have dementia. These symptoms could be the result of a variety of other conditions or disorders, including other neurocognitive disorders such as Parkinsons disease, brain growths or tumors, mild cognitive impairment , and mood disorders, like depression.

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