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What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease

First Signs Of Alzheimers Disease

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

The earliest symptomatic stage is called mild cognitive impairment, says Dr. Caselli. Early signs include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing items and an inability to retrace steps
  • Changes in mood and personality

What Are The Potential Complications Of Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia is a progressive and irreversible disease. As the disease worsens, can become severe and behavior can become aggressive. Depression can also develop. Worsening motor symptoms can lead to falls and other injuries. Eventually, LBD is fatal. The average time from diagnosis to death ranges from 5 to 8 years. However, it can progress as quickly as 2 years or last as long as 20 years. How fast the disease advances and how long it lasts depends on a persons age at diagnosis, their overall health, and the severity of symptoms.

Can You Have Both Parkinsons And Alzheimers

People who already have Parkinsons disease and later develop signs of dementia are diagnosed with Parkinsons dementia.6 However, if you first have Alzheimers disease and develop signs of movement difficulties, you can also have a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease.

Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or with the community.

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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.

What Are The Stages Of Alzheimer’s

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There are three stages of Alzheimer’s:

  • In the early stage, you may function independently. You may still work, drive and maintain social connections. But you may notice memory lapses, and you may not be able to retrieve familiar words as easily or remember where you placed everyday objects. You may begin to feel unsure about a familiar route home in your car.

  • The middle stage typically lasts the longest and may continue for a number of years. As the disease advances, you’ll require a more intensive level of care.

  • In the final stage of this disease, you may still be able to speak, but communicating important information becomes difficult. As memory and cognitive skills fade, you may need extensive help with daily activities.

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    Myths About Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

    The right treatment and support are critical to the well-being of anyone diagnosed with any form of dementia, so its important to know fact from fiction when it comes to these common myths.

    Myth: Dementia is a normal part of aging.

    Fact: Dementia is a disease of the brainnot a normal part of aging. Forgetting where you put your keys is a common problem for a lot of people as they age. But signs of dementia are more than just moments of forgetfulness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . With dementia, a person may be unable to complete ordinary tasks at home or at work, get lost in familiar places and forget the function of common items. When these symptoms appear, its time to see a doctor.

    Myth: You cant reduce your risk of getting Alzheimers disease or other kinds of dementiayou either get it or you dont.

    Fact: Adopting healthy habits can lower your risk of developing dementia, or at least delay the onset. Healthy body, healthy mind, says Dr. Caselli. What we can control, we should control. Though he adds that even a lifetime of healthy habits is no guarantee of protection.

    Myth: Since there is no cure, theres no point in getting a diagnosis.

    Myth: A diagnosis of Alzheimers or another form of dementia means life as you know it will soon end.

    Myth: Coping with a family member with Alzheimers is overwhelmingly difficult.

    Outlook For People With Dementia

    The outlook for patients suffering from dementia depends completely on the direct cause of dementia. The available treatments are used to make the symptoms of dementia manageable, but there is no sure-fire way of stopping the deterioration of the mind due to this disease.

    Although vascular dementia can be slowed down in some cases, it can still shorten a patients lifespan. Some dementia variants are reversible, but most of them are irreversible and can cause physical and mental impairments, over time.

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    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.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

    What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimers Disease?

    Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe. It affects multiple brain functions.

    The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is usually minor memory problems.

    For example, this could be forgetting about recent conversations or events, and forgetting the names of places and objects.

    As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms can develop, such as:

    • confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
    • difficulty planning or making decisions
    • problems with speech and language
    • problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
    • personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others
    • hallucinations and delusions
    • low mood or anxiety

    Read more about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

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    What To Do If Youre Worried About Your Memory

    If you suspect youre experiencing any warning signs of dementia , the first thing to do is see a physician. Dr. Scharre recommends asking for a cognitive assessment at your annual physical so your results can be compared year-over-year and declines can be identified and addressed right awayjust like a colonoscopy, blood pressure screening, or cholesterol testing.

    As with any medical condition, typically the earlier you identify it, the more options you have for treatment and typically the better you do, he says. Some forms of dementia have treatable causes while others like Alzheimers are also treatable, just not reversible or curable. Thatnew medication the FDA approved for Alzheimers, for example, only works in the mild cognitive impairment stagethats where its sweet spot is and if you start getting even a little bit more than mild dementia its not useful.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia

    Dementia is a decline in mental abilities that leads to these symptoms:

    • Memory loss or confusion
    • Personality changes affecting daily life
    • Difficulty with judgment or reasoning
    • Trouble communicating or socializing

    Those with dementia are unable to keep track of time or remember a list of products. Similarly, they can get lost while driving or forget where they placed items. Dementia can also cause irritability or aggression.

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    How Can I Reduce My Risk For Vascular Dementia

    Try to eat a healthy diet. Also, many researchers recommend a Mediterranean-style diet. For example, the MIND diet has been shown to positively impact heart health. So many risk factors are related to heart disease, Martha Clare Morris, creator of the MIND diet said. In addition, exercise often. Recent studies found that exercise can actually slow down the aging process. Similarly, avoid consuming too much alcohol or smoking. Finally, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol.

    Dementia Vs Alzheimer’s: Differences And Similarities

    What is the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia ...
  • Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s: Differences and Similarities Center
  • The terms dementia and Alzheimers are often used interchangeably. They, however, are not completely synonymous. Dementia is a group of symptoms characterized by a decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning. Dementia is not simply the age-related forgetfulness it is associated with other changes as well. It hinders a person from performing their routine tasks. They find it difficult to focus, understand, concentrate, and have a conversation besides other complaints. There are several causes of dementia:

    Although dementia is a cluster of symptoms, Alzheimers is a disease. It is the commonest type of dementia consisting of around 60-80% of dementia cases. Alzheimers disease is an irreversible, slowly progressive disorder of the brain that destroys memory and thinking skills which eventually makes a person unable to carry out the most basic tasks. Most people develop this disease in their mid-60s while for some the symptoms first appear between their 30s and mid-60s. There are seven stages of Alzheimers, dementia occurs in the mid to late stages of the disease.

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    Whos Most At Risk Of Alzheimers And Dementia

    There are a few factors than can affect how likely you are to get dementia. The main one is age: the older you get, the more likely you are to get it. At age 6064, around one in 100 people have it. This rises to around six in 100 for people aged 7579, and as high as 30 in 100 at age 9094.

    Some of the risk factors for dementia are actually within your control. For example: smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise all seem to increase the risk of dementia. Its also thought that poor diet might play a part.

    There are some other health conditions that increase your risk of dementia, including unmanaged diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, particularly later in life, Parkinsons disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Downs syndrome, and some forms of multiple sclerosis.

    Dementia generally doesnt run in the family, but theres evidence that it can in some situations. Alzheimers is one of the causes that can have a genetic link: someone with a parent, brother or sister with Alzheimers will be at slightly increased risk.

    When looking at the difference between Alzheimers and dementia, the key thing to remember is that the two arent mutually exclusive, one is a type of the other. A person with Alzheimers also has dementia, but only some people with dementia have Alzheimers.

    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

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    What Are The Differences Between Lewy Body Dementia Parkinsons And Alzhemiers

    Despite shared symptoms, Lewy body dementia has key symptoms that differentiate itself from other similar disorders.

    People with LBD, unlike early Parkinsons, will exhibit cognitive impairment, behavior issues and have fluctuations in alertness, Loeb said, symptoms that are not as common in early Parkinsons patients.

    Meanwhile, LBD patients will more frequently face issues with planning, judgment and visual perception, as opposed to Alzheimers patients, who experience memory loss. They may also face issues with their autonomic nervous system, which influences blood pressure and incontinence.

    Early Signs And Symptoms Are Different

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

    Parkinsons disease generally begins as a movement disorder. Early signs and symptoms include:2

    • Tremor, which often begins in the hand or fingers
    • Slowed movement, which may include foot dragging
    • Rigidity
    • Slowed automatic movements such as blinking, smiling, and swinging your arms when you walk

    Alzheimers disease generally begins as noticeable memory loss. Early signs and symptoms include:3,4

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    /6symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

    The symptoms of the disease appear long after the brain begins to damage. It is only diagnosed later when the symptoms become more prominent. Even then it is not possible to diagnose Alzheimers with complete accuracy while a person is alive.

    Early signs and symptoms of this condition include:


    Symptoms Related To Brain Function Are Different

    There is some overlap, but in general, the overall cognitive symptoms that people experience with Parkinsons disease dementia and Alzheimers are different. Alzheimers mainly affects language and memory at the outset, whereas Parkinsons affects problem-solving, speed of thinking, memory, and mood.6

    Unlike in Alzheimers disease, people with Parkinsons-related dementia often experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoid thoughts. Both conditions can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.4,6

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    Newfound Challenges For Patients And Families

    Lewy body dementia can be a harrowing experience for both patients and their families.

    Getting a diagnosis can be a matter of months- to yearslong doctor shopping, Galvin said.

    Executive dysfunction can lead to behaviors that family members initially perceive as bad judgments. Delusions can make them frustrated and fearful.

    As a caregiver, I think one of the challenges is recognizing that we cannot use the same skills and interpersonal dynamics that we came to rely on in our relationship with the person with LBD, Taylor said.

    We have to develop new ones because you cannot reason with somebody who is having a hallucination or delusion. Sometimes you have to more step into their reality and empathize learn a new way to offer assistance without them feeling like theyre being treated like a child.

    Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

    What is the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia ...

    There is a significant difference between Alzheimers and dementia. Dementia is an overall term that is used to describe symptoms that have an impact on the memory, communication ability, and overall performance of the person.

    Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia and it is the most common form of the condition. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time and it begins to affect the language, memory, and thought process of the individual, hence early diagnosis is essential to effective treatment.

    While younger people are at risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the risk will increase as you age. However, you must note that neither dementia nor Alzheimer’s is a normal part of aging.

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    Signs And Stages Of Dementia

    Early Signs

    In the early stages of dementia, subtle signs begin to present themselves. The person might lose their keys more often, forget directions when driving, or show mood swings. It can often be overlooked and unnoticed as simple ditziness or having an off day.

    It can be hard to diagnose dementia in the earlier stages. According to the Global Deterioration Scale , dementia experts express the need for updated testing as its much better for the individual, caregivers, and family members to catch dementia earlier on. It can be confusing to pinpoint the onset of dementia as it often occurs with co-existing conditions, such as a stroke or physical disease.

    Top traits of the early phase of dementia include:

    • Confusion when trying to arrange difficult thoughts or tasks

    Mid -Stage

    As dementia progresses, the middle stage shows more severe signs of the beginning stage. The person will likely begin forgetting peoples names, faces, and their relationship to them. This relationship memory gap can come and go at different times, depending on the day.

    They may also get easily lost in places like their local grocery store, nursing home, or even their own house. Communication can become an issue as they struggle to find the right words to express what they want to say. Major behavioral changes can occur, such as an introvert becoming suddenly extroverted and risk-seeking, or a nurturing friend becoming hostile toward peers.

    Characteristics of mid-stage dementia:

    Risk Factors For Oxygen Deprivation

    Cerebral hypoxia has a variety of potential causesâanything that interferes with the bodys ability to process and distribute oxygen could lead to deprivation in the brain. This could include:

    • Severe asthma attacks
    • Chronic smoke inhalation
    • Crushing of the trachea

    Any situation in which you are unable to breathe normally can lead to cerebral hypoxia and eventual brain damage, which in turn can increase your risk for developing a form of dementia.

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    You Asked: Whats The Difference Between Alzheimers Disease 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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