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Is Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease The Same

Support For Families And Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers

What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?

Caring for a person with Alzheimers can have significant physical, emotional, and financial costs. The demands of day-to-day care, changes in family roles, and decisions about placement in a care facility can be difficult. NIA supports efforts to evaluate programs, strategies, approaches, and other research to improve the quality of care and life for those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimers and about ways to deal with difficult behaviors and other caregiving challenges can help.

Good coping skills, a strong support network, and respite care are other things that may help caregivers handle the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimers. For example, staying physically active provides physical and emotional benefits.

Some caregivers have found that joining a support group is a critical lifeline. These support groups enable caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort. Many organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups, including groups for people with early-stage Alzheimers and their families.

Read about this topic in Spanish. Lea sobre este tema en espaƱol.

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 Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.

There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.

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Keep Your Mind Active

An active mind may help lower the risk of dementia, so keep challenging yourself. Some examples would be:

  • study something new, like a new language
  • do puzzles and play games
  • read challenging books
  • learn to read music, take up an instrument, or start writing
  • stay socially engaged: keep in touch with others or join group activities
  • volunteer

You Asked: Whats The Difference Between Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

What is the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia ...

While often used interchangeably, dementia and Alzheimers disease are not the same. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimers disease is a specific type of dementia that causes memory loss and impairment of other important mental functions. An expert from the Texas A& M School of Public Health describes how these conditions can impact the lives of both patients and those around them, and provides insights into ways of minimizing risks.

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What Are The Different Types Of Dementia

Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.

The five most common forms of dementia are:

  • Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
  • Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
  • Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
  • Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
  • Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.

Risk Factors For Dementia

Two of the most common risk factors for Alzheimers and dementia are age and genetics. Most individuals with Alzheimers are 65 or older, and those who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimers are more likely to develop the disease. However, there is evidence to suggest that there are other factors that people can influence.

According to research from the University of Cambridge, one-third of Alzheimers disease cases were attributed to preventable risk factors. The seven main risk factors for Alzheimers disease are diabetes, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity, depression, smoking and low educational attainment.

Minimizing the risk of these factors can potentially minimize the onset of dementia, but to an unknown degree, Ory said. We know that physical activity, a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle can help reduce the symptomology of many major diseases, and similarly these can affect the onset and progression of dementia symptomatology.

If youre looking for a start to reducing the risk for dementia or Alzheimers, a healthy diet and getting enough exercise is a good start. Exercise has been shown to increase blood flow and help connections between neurons, which is important with cognitive functioning.

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What Are The Stages Of Alzheimers

Alzheimers disease slowly gets worse over time. People with this disease progress at different rates and in several stages. Symptoms may get worse and then improve, but until an effective treatment for the disease itself is found, the persons ability will continue to decline over the course of the disease.

Early-stage Alzheimers is when a person begins to experience memory loss and other cognitive difficulties, though the symptoms appear gradual to the person and their family. Alzheimers disease is often diagnosed at this stage.

During middle-stage Alzheimers, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. People at this stage may have more confusion and trouble recognizing family and friends.

In late-stage Alzheimers, a person cannot communicate, is completely dependent on others for care, and may be in bed most or all the time as the body shuts down.

How long a person can live with Alzheimers disease varies. A person may live as few as three or four years if he or she is older than 80 when diagnosed, to as long as 10 or more years if the person is younger. Older adults with Alzheimers disease need to know their end-of-life care options and express their wishes to caregivers as early as possible after a diagnosis, before their thinking and speaking abilities fail.

Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease

What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Research UK

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of 2 proteins called amyloid and tau.

Deposits of amyloid, called plaques, build up around brain cells. Deposits of tau form “tangles” within brain cells.

Researchers do not fully understand how amyloid and tau are involved in the loss of brain cells, but research into this is continuing.

As brain cells become affected in Alzheimer’s, there’s also a decrease in chemical messengers involved in sending messages, or signals, between brain cells.

Levels of 1 neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, are particularly low in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Medicines like donepezil increase levels of acetylcholine, and improve brain function and symptoms.

These treatments are not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but they do help improve symptoms.

Read more about treatments for dementia.

The symptoms that people develop depend on the areas of the brain that have been damaged by the disease.

The hippocampus is often affected early on in Alzheimer’s disease. This area of the brain is responsible for laying down new memories. That’s why memory problems are one of the earliest symptoms in Alzheimer’s.

Unusual forms of Alzheimer’s disease can start with problems with vision or with language.

Read more about Alzheimer’s disease.

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Whats The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Larry Lawhorne discusses the difference between dementia and Alzheimers disease. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

A very common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of all cases of dementia. But there many causes of dementia, such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus and frontotemporal dementia. The most common after Alzheimer’s disease is vascular dementia. Vascular dementia occurs in a setting of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases. While Alzheimer’s patients lose function slowly, people with vascular dementia lose their ability to remember and think in a step-wise progression.

Making a diagnosis can be complicated because now we think there is mixed dementia. Someone may be on his way to developing Alzheimer’s disease but may also have enough vascular risk factors to have vascular dementia, too. Lewy body dementia is an interesting and distinctive disorder. People with Lewy body dementia often first experience visual hallucinations. They may also have some movement disorder. They may have a little bit of tremor. They may have problems walking. People with Lewy body dementia are also very sensitive to antipsychotic medicines, which tend to make them much more unsteady.

Learn more:

Difference Between Alzheimers And Senile Dementia

Categorized under Health | Difference Between Alzheimers and Senile Dementia

ALZHEIMERS VS. SENILE DEMENTIA

Old age and the loss of mental faculties are an unfortunate but harsh reality. Alzheimers disease is, perhaps, the most common and debilitating of this type of affliction. However, most people are unaware that Alzheimers disease is only one disease under the larger umbrella that is Senile Dementia. Alzheimers maybe the most infamous, but there are many other forms of this condition.

Senile Dementia can be considered as an all-encompassing term utilized to indicate the deterioration and eventual loss of intellectual acuity related to advanced aging, and is caused by degeneration of ones brain cells. Alzheimers disease is often confused as either the same or alternatively it is often considered to be something entirely different from it. Yes and no yes, Alzheimers disease is a condition that qualifies as Senile Dementia, but Alzheimers is actually one of the forms of it. Other forms of Senile Dementia include Fronto-temporal Dementia, Lewy Body disease, Parkinsons disease, and Vascular Dementia. Alzheimers, meanwhile, is the most common of these. It should also not be confused with normal senility.

Summary:

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Isnt Dementia Part Of Normal Aging

No, many older adults live their entire lives without developing dementia. Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as:

  • Occasionally misplacing car keys
  • Struggling to find a word but remembering it later
  • Forgetting the name of an acquaintance
  • Forgetting the most recent events

Normally, knowledge and experiences built over years, old memories, and language would stay intact.

Icipating In Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials

What Happens If You Dont Brush Your Teeth?

Everybody those with Alzheimers disease or MCI as well as healthy volunteers with or without a family history of Alzheimers may be able to take part in clinical trials and studies. Participants in Alzheimers clinical research help scientists learn how the brain changes in healthy aging and in Alzheimers. Currently, at least 270,000 volunteers are needed to participate in more than 250 active clinical trials and studies that are testing ways to understand, diagnose, treat, and prevent Alzheimers disease.

Volunteering for a clinical trial is one way to help in the fight against Alzheimers. Studies need participants of different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that results are meaningful for many people.

NIA leads the federal governments research efforts on Alzheimers. NIA-supported Alzheimers Disease Research Centers throughout the U.S. conduct a wide range of research, including studies of the causes, diagnosis, and management of the disease. NIA also sponsors the Alzheimers Clinical Trials Consortium, which is designed to accelerate and expand studies and therapies in Alzheimers and related dementias.

To learn more about Alzheimers clinical trials and studies:

  • Talk to your health care provider about local studies that may be right for you.

Watch videos of participants in Alzheimers disease clinical trials talking about their experiences.

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Metabolic Problems And Endocrine Abnormalities

Thyroid problems can lead to apathy, depression, or symptoms that resemble dementia.

Hypoglycemia, a condition in which theres not enough sugar in the bloodstream, can cause confusion or personality changes.

Too little or too much sodium or calcium can trigger mental changes.

Some people have an impaired ability to absorb vitamin B-12. This creates a condition called pernicious anemia that can cause personality changes, irritability, or depression.

Who Can Diagnose Dementia

Visiting a primary care doctor is often the first step for people who are experiencing changes in thinking, movement, or behavior. However, neurologists doctors who specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system are often consulted to diagnose dementia. Geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and geriatricians may also be able to diagnose dementia. Your doctor can help you find a specialist.

If a specialist cannot be found in your community, contact the nearest medical school neurology department for a referral. A medical school hospital also may have a dementia clinic that provides expert evaluation. You can also visit the Alzheimers Disease Research Centers directory to see if there is an NIA-funded center near you. These centers can help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management of conditions.

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Faqs About Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

  • Are dementia and Alzheimer’s disease the same?

As outlined throughout this post, dementia and Alzheimers disease are two different things. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect the mental abilities of an individual. Its a general term used to describe the decline in ones mental ability to a point that it interferes in their daily life. Alzheimers disease, on the other hand, is a progressive disease. Its a type of dementia that causes impairment in memory, language, and thoughts.

  • Are dementia and Alzheimer’s disease hereditary?

People who have Alzheimers disease running in their family are more likely to have it they are at a higher risk. The same goes for dementia. However, only in rare cases, theres a strong link between dementia and genes. There are many other factors that determine whether a person can have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Is dementia and Alzheimer’s disease a mental illness?

Dementia and Alzheimers disease do affect mental health. However, they arent particularly a mental illness but rather a brain disorder or a progressive neurodegenerative condition.

  • How is dementia and Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?

There are no definite tests to diagnose dementia and Alzheimers disease. Doctors consider various factors, including medical history, laboratory tests, change in behaviour, and more to determine if someone has dementia or Alzheimers disease.

Alzheimers Vs Dementia What Is Alzheimers Disease

Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease? What’s the difference?

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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Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

In the early stages the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be very subtle. However, it often begins with lapses in memory and difficulty in finding the right words for everyday objects.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Persistent and frequent memory difficulties, especially of recent events
  • Vagueness in everyday conversation
  • Apparent loss of enthusiasm for previously enjoyed activities
  • Taking longer to do routine tasks
  • Forgetting well-known people or places
  • Inability to process questions and instructions
  • Deterioration of social skills
  • Emotional unpredictability

Symptoms vary and the disease progresses at a different pace according to the individual and the areas of the brain affected. A person’s abilities may fluctuate from day to day, or even within the one day, becoming worse in times of stress, fatigue or ill-health.

Myth No : Gingko Biloba Can Prevent Memory Loss

For a while, researchers were looking at the herbal supplement gingko biloba as a way to slow or prevent memory loss but studies have shown no effect on memory. Gingko was a nice idea, but it didnt work at all, says Rosenberg.

These are just some of the myths that surround the subject of dementia. But remember, it’s always advisable to get dementia information from reliable sources, such as your doctor, instead of relying on rumors about causes or ways to prevent dementia.

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What Causes Alzheimers

The causes of Alzheimers disease are not yet fully understood, but probably include a combination of:

  • Age-related changes in the brain, like shrinking, inflammation, blood vessel damage, and breakdown of energy within cells, which may harm neurons and affect other brain cells.
  • Changes or differences in genes, which may be passed down by a family member. Both types of Alzheimer’s the very rare early-onset type occurring between age 30 and mid-60s, and the most common late-onset type occurring after a persons mid-60s can be related to a persons genes in some way. Many people with Down syndrome, a genetic condition, will develop Alzheimers as they age and may begin to show symptoms in their 40s.
  • Health, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may play a role, such as exposure to pollutants, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Watch this video to see how Alzheimers disease changes the brain.

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