Outlook For Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is one of the highest leading causes of death among senior citizens. Approximately one in three people, aged 65 and above, will die from Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia. It will kill more people than breast and prostate cancer.
The life expectancy for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease tends to vary depending on many factors average life expectancy is three to eleven years , but people can go on to live with Alzheimer’s for 20 years or more.
If the symptoms of Alzheimer’s show at the age of 75, they are likely to live for another seven years or so, post-diagnosis. But, if the symptoms affect someone around the age of 90 then they are likely to live for another three years, approximately.
Since Alzheimers is a progressive disease, the earlier the diagnosis is made and the earlier treatment begins, the better is the outlook for the patient.
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.
Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s
In conclusion, it should be noted that the main difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is:
- Dementia is not a disease but the deterioration of a person’s mental abilities Alzheimer’s is a disease that develops over time.
- Dementia occurs for various reasons among which we find suffering from other diseases Alzheimer’s however has no known cause but is known to be a stage of dementia.
- The life expectancy of a patient with dementia is not altered by this deterioration a person with Alzheimer’s will have upon first diagnosis a life expectancy of about 10 years.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.
Read Also: Aphasia Alzheimer’s Disease
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. Alzheimers Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking
What Are The Risk Factors For Dementia
The risk factors for developing dementia include age and family history. Age and a family history of dementia are non-modifiable risk factors. Abnormal genes which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, but are only rarely involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes increase the risks of developing either Alzheimer’s disease or multi-infarct dementia. Some medications can lead to memory problems which look like dementia.
You May Like: Dementia Ribbon Colors
What Are The Final Stages Of Dementia
Experts suggest that signs of the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease include some of the following:
- Being unable to move around on one’s own.
- Being unable to speak or make oneself understood.
- Needing help with most, if not all, daily activities, such as eating and self-care.
- Eating problems such as difficulty swallowing.
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.
Difference Between Alzheimers And Senility
March 28, 2011 Posted by Olivia
Alzheimers vs Senility
Senility and Alzheimers are medical conditions that are encountered in old age. With old age, loss of mental functions is a normal thing. It is unfortunate though as it hampers with an individuals daily activities as he loses controls over his cognitive functions. While Alzheimers is definitely a disease, senility refers to physical and mental deterioration with old age. Senility is cognitive impairment which is common with old age. On the other hand, Alzheimers is a brain disease which causes brain cells to die in a gradual and progressive manner. However, the symptoms of Alzheimers are similar to those commonly associated with senility which is why people are often confused between the two.
Sad part of this disease is that it cannot be prevented. However, people can lower the chances of contracting this disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating green, leafy vegetables. Active physical and mental engagement in activities at old age also helps in preventing the onset of this disease. Avoiding depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and controlling anger while allowing for brain exercises with mental activities such as simple math help people to prevent this disease.
Medication Treatment Of Dementia In The Elderly
Donepezil, Rivastigmine and Galantamine are medications that boost levels of the chemical messengers that affect recall and reasoning. They are mostly used in the treatment of Alzheimers disease, but they have also been recommended for vascular dementia, Parkinsons disease dementia, and Lewy body dementia.
This controls the amount of glutamate that is released into the brain. It is a chemical messenger that regulates brain tasks, including processing new information and recall. Memantine works well when taken with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
These include antidepressants, medications that assist with sleep disturbances, and anti-agitation medication to reduce nervousness and anxiety.
Recommended Reading: Aphasia And Alzheimer’s
Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- increasing confusion
- apathy and withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.
Also Check: Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer
Alzheimer Vs Aos Vs Senile Dementia
The Difference between Alzheimer, Aos, and Senile Dementia is that Dementia seems to be a broad term that encompasses conditions affecting memory, everyday routines, and communications skills. One of the most frequent forms of Dementia includes Alzheimers. Alzheimers is a progressive problem that attacks recollection, language, and cognition.
Alzheimers disease is perhaps the most frequent type of dementia, which is a broad concept for memory as well as other cognitive impairments that lead to distress. Alzheimers disease is responsible for 60-80 percent of dementia patients. Alzheimers disease isnt really a normal aspect of growing older.
Senile Dementia is defined as the mental and physical degeneration that occurs with elderly age. The bulk of elderly people suffer from mental deterioration or a loss of cognitive functions. This is defined by a persons inability to remember things, concentration, or make sound judgments in certain situations.
History Of Senile Dementia
In the early 1900s, hardening of the arteries was the diagnostic handle for dementia. The name progressed to organic brain syndrome in the 1950s, while the 1970s term pseudodementia was used to describe dementias caused by physiological conditions. All of these terms have now become outdated and have been replaced by the overarching term, dementia.
The term senile dementia is still commonly used, although it is noteworthy to ascertain exactly what a health care professional means when they refer to senile or old age dementia.
Difference Between Alzheimers And Dementia
Alzheimers disease and dementia are two terms that are often used interchangeably as many people believe that one means the other. In fact, the distinction between the two diseases often causes confusion on the behalf of caregivers, families and patients. Learn more about how the two diagnoses, while related, are remarkably different.
Recommended Reading: Purple Ribbon Alzheimers
What Is The Treatment For Dementia
Treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are limited. While there are medications available to try to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the effect of these medications is limited. Physical exercise has been shown to be of some benefit in helping to maintain cognition. Staying engaged and participating in social events may also be of some help. To date, no treatment which can reverse the process of Alzheimer’s disease has been identified.
Treating Alzheimers Disease Vs Other Types Of Dementia
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
Alzheimerâs Association: âCreutzfeldt-Jakob Disease,â âFrontotemporal Dementia,â âTypes of Dementia,â âWhat is Alzheimerâs?â
Alzheimerâs Disease International: âWorld Alzheimerâs Report 2015.â
Alzheimerâs Society: âSight, perception and hallucinations in dementia.â
BrightFocus Foundation: âWhatâs the Difference Between Dementia & Alzheimerâs Disease?â âTreatments for Alzheimerâs Disease.â
Dementia Society of America: âDementia FAQs.â
Fisher Center for Alzheimerâs Research Foundation: âDementia vs. Alzheimerâs.â
Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio: âAlzheimerâs Versus Dementia.â
Mayo Clinic: âAlzheimerâs Disease,â âDementia.â
Cleveland Clinic: âDementia.â
Don’t Miss: Alzheimer’s Awareness Color
How Is Dementia Diagnosed
To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood and other fluids to check levels of various chemicals, hormones, and vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.
A review of a persons medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.
The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:
Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
Signs and symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.
The symptoms of dementia can vary and may include:
- Experiencing memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion
- Difficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, or reading and writing
- Wandering and getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Trouble handling money responsibly and paying bills
- Repeating questions
- Not caring about other peoples feelings
- Losing balance and problems with movement
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can also develop dementia as they age, and recognizing their symptoms can be particularly difficult. Its important to consider a persons current abilities and to monitor for changes over time that could signal dementia.
Also Check: Color For Dementia Awareness
What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia
The symptoms of dementia can vary, depending on which parts of the brain are affected. Often, forgetfulness is the first symptom. Dementia also causes problems with the ability to think, problem solve, and reason. For example, people with dementia may:
- Get lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Use unusual words to refer to familiar objects
- Forget the name of a close family member or friend
- Forget old memories
- Need help doing tasks that they used to do by themselves
Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions and their personalities may change. They may become apathetic, meaning that they are no longer interested in normal daily activities or events. They may lose their inhibitions and stop caring about other peoples’ feelings.
Certain types of dementia can also cause problems with balance and movement.
The stages of dementia range from mild to severe. In the mildest stage, it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning. In the most severe stage, the person is completely dependent on others for care.
What Is End Stage Alzheimer’s
It’s characterized by loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, changes in mood and behaviour, and eventually a reduced ability to perform the activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing and toileting. In end–stage Alzheimer disease, the brain is no longer able to tell the body what to do.
Don’t Miss: Is Senility The Same As Dementia
Definition Of Senile Dementia
Senility, from the Latin senectus, means old age, or pertaining to old age. It was once a benign term, but over the past two hundred years, it became commonly associated with infirmity and the cognitive decline linked to aging.
Whereas people with a healthy brain do not necessarily experience memory loss or other signs of dementia, senile dementia is a progressive disease that stems from the degeneration in brain cells.
How Do The Symptoms Of Dementia And Alzheimers Compare
There are a really wide range of possible dementia symptoms, but Alzheimers symptoms are a little more specific. Dementia symptoms vary depending on what is causing the dementia, and also vary from one person to the next. The main dementia symptoms fall into three different groups:
- Difficulties with remembering, thinking and language. The person might be forgetful, repeat questions, struggle to remember words and have conversations, or be disoriented.
- Difficulties with daily activities. They might struggle with their routine maybe becoming unhygienic or neglecting their home. They might also get lost in familiar places.
- Emotional and behavioural difficulties. There are a whole range of these, including being withdrawn or apathetic, low or anxious, suspicious of others, or even aggressive. The person could also be restless and have trouble sleeping.
The different causes of dementia may have different symptoms in the early stages. But as the conditions progress, someone is more likely to have the full range of dementia symptoms.
In Alzheimers specifically, the first thing that tends to appear is memory problems. The person might also lose interest in their favourite activities or hobbies. As time goes on, these problems will get worse. The person may get more confused, and struggle to plan and follow instructions. In the later stages of Alzheimers, more serious symptoms like hallucinations, aggression, depression and incontinence can appear.
Also Check: Ribbon Color For Dementia
Treatable Causes Of Dementia
There are many conditions that can cause dementia-like symptoms that can sometimes be stopped or even reversed with treatment. These conditions include:
- Side effects of certain medicines
- Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- Certain vitamin deficiencies
- Blood clots, tumors, or infections in the brain
- Delirium, a sudden state of confusion and disorientation
- Head injury, such as a concussion from a fall or accident
- Thyroid, kidney, or liver problems
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain
Talk with your doctor if you experience serious memory problems or other symptoms of dementia. A proper diagnosis is important to getting the right treatment.