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What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s

What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia

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

While FTD doesnt always affect memory, it often leads to personality changes. As result, these changes can be mistaken for a mental health condition. Usually, people between 4045 are usually affected. Common symptoms include mood changes, uncharacteristic behavior and no longer caring what people think. In addition, they may experience memory loss.

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.

There Are Multiple Types Of Dementia

The National Institutes on Aging estimates that four to five million Americans currently have some form of dementia, and those forms include:

  • Alzheimers Disease 70-80% of people who have dementia have Alzheimers. Its a progressive condition that usually affects people older than 65. Theres currently no cure. It happens when proteins called plaques, and fibers called tangles, build up in the brain, block nerve signals and destroy brain cells. As brain cells degenerate and die, theres a corresponding decline in memory and mental function.
  • Vascular Dementia 20-30% who have dementia have vascular dementia. It happens when theres not enough blood going to the brain, caused by damage to blood vessels or blockages that lead to mini-strokes or brain bleeding. There are several forms of vascular dementia, so symptoms may vary. In general, people with vascular dementia may show more problems with attention, organization, processing speed.
  • Lewy Body Dementia Up to 10-20% of those with dementia have this form. Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein which build up in the cortex of the brain . It causes problems with attention, sleeping issues, hallucinations, and unbalanced movements, similar to Parkinsons disease symptoms. Memory loss tends to show up later with this kind of dementia.
  • Huntingtons Disease Dementia A genetic issue, it affects the central part of the brainthe area that helps us think, move and show emotion.

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What If I Can No Longer Care For My Loved One At Home

As Alzheimer’s or dementia progresses, you may need to rely on outside support. When that occurs, “the only consideration is what’s best. for your loved one,” said Tobin. “It may necessitate finding a proper facility to adequately care for them in the final stage.”

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the other blog posts in this series:

Are There Differences Between Lewy Body Dementia And Alzheimers

Dementia vs Alzheimers: What is the Difference?

People with Lewy body dementia can have Alzheimers symptoms. However, Alzheimers patients generally do not experience hallucinations until the later stages. In contrast, those with Lewy body dementia usually experience symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations early on. Additionally, they could have difficulty with motor skills, sleeping, thinking or reasoning. Their memory usually declines more rapidly than those with Alzheimers. Unlike Alzheimers patients, those with LBD have temporary moments of clarity. Symptoms like lethargy can vary from day-to-day or even within the day, Dr. Sarah Kremen said. Sometimes patients seem crystal-clear in their thinking and sometimes they seem very confused. But this is not seen in all patients. Alternatively, Alzheimers patients do not go in and out of this state. People with Lewy body dementia can also have Alzheimers pathology.

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Whats The Difference Between Alzheimers And Dementia

This article is more than three years old. It reflects the best available evidence at the time of publication.

When it comes to getting older, some of the most common fears people have are around Alzheimers and dementia. These are two words we hear used a lot when it comes to older peoples health and care … but what do they actually mean? And whats the difference between the two?

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:

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Forgetfulness That Disrupts Daily Life: The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

When someone shows signs of forgetfulness, its easy to jump to conclusions. Is it dementia? Alzheimers? And whats the difference? Well help you unravel these similar, but different terms. There is often misunderstanding about the difference between Alzheimers and the many forms of dementia, but diagnosis and good care depend on having knowledge of these conditions.

What Is Alzheimers Disease

What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimers Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control , Alzheimers disease is a common cause of dementia, causing as many as 50-70% of all dementia cases. In fact, Alzheimers is a very specific form of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimers include confusion, impaired speech and thought.

Doctors use a variety of screenings to determine the cause of dementia, including blood tests, brain scans and mental status evaluations.

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More Types Of Dementia

One important distinction to make when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s is that some types of dementia can be reversed, but dementia caused by Alzheimer’s is not one of them. Dementia can also be caused by heavy metal or pesticide poisoning, infections, endocrine imbalances , and even reactions to medications. These types of dementia can be reversible, but progressive dementias are not.

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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Differences Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s

Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology.

Dementia is the general term used to describe a decline in cognitive function. Problems with thought processing, judgement, reasoning, memory, communication and behavior control that have an impact on a person’s ability to live a normal life all fall under dementia.

Faqs About Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

156 best Dementia images on Pinterest
  • 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.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Symptoms & Treatment

Alzheimers is a progressive brain disease that is caused due to complex brain changes following cells to waste away, damage, and die. It slowly affects the brain causing impairment in cognitive abilities and memory. Alzheimers disease is progressive in nature and worsens over time.

The cause of this is unknown. In Alzheimers disease, there is a formation of abnormal structures in the brain, which blocks communication between the brain cells leading to the death of brain cells. It is not possible to diagnose someone with this disease with complete accuracy, but the patient is diagnosed as probable Alzheimers disease.

The symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers may overlap, but there are some differences. Similar symptoms include reduced ability to think, impairment in communication, and memory.

Symptoms of Alzheimers mostly include –

  • Difficulty in remembering people and conversations
  • Forgetfulness
  • Vision changes related to cataracts
  • Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later
  • Making errors while managing finances and other tasks
  • Trouble finding the right word while having conversations
  • Misplacing things from time to time
  • Feeling uninterested in the family or social obligations
  • Becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted
  • Difficulty in doing tasks such as cooking, bathing or grooming, and impaired language
  • 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 90 percent of the time.

    The symptoms of Alzheimers and dementia can overlap, but there can be some differences.

    Both conditions can cause:

    • 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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    Are There Other Types Of Dementia

    Yes, there are various other types of dementia. Its important to provide support not only for the patient, but also for the caregiver, according to Dr. Stephen Chen. Some of the behavioral disturbances or psychiatric symptoms associated with all the dementias are often the most challenging aspect of managing these illnesses. Learn more about other forms of dementia here.

    Walking And Physical Movement

    What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?

    Vascular dementia: Vascular dementia is often accompanied by some physical challenge. If a person has a stroke, they may have limited movement on one side of her body. Both the cognitive and physical impairments related to vascular dementia usually develop at the same time since they are often the result of a sudden condition like a stroke.

    Alzheimers: Often, mental abilities like memory or judgment decline initially, and then as Alzheimer’s progresses into the middle stages, physical abilities like balance or walking show some deterioration.

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    Talking With Your Health Care Provider

    Aging is a difficult process for many people, and talking to your health care provider about your concerns can be very beneficial. They can provide you with information and resources to help ease your concerns or improve your quality of life if you have any of these conditions.

    There are simple screening tests that health care professionals can perform during routine medical visits, Ory said. Knowing the signs and symptomatology of dementia is important as there are medications that can reduce your symptomatology, and, along with being more active and engaging in other healthy lifestyles, can improve your quality of life.

    Although there are no medications or treatment that can cure dementia or Alzheimers, medications and a healthy lifestyle will help you process your condition as well as possible. Ask your physician about safety and limitations. There is nothing shameful about having dementia.

    Before people talked about dementia in medical terms, theyd say that the patient was crazy or senile, Ory said. People dont use those terms now because they recognize its a medical condition and not about personality or willpower. Alzheimers and dementia are far too common and are not something we can ignore.

    What Are The Stages Of Dementia

    There are several types of dementia, but most experts breakdown their progression intoseven steps:

    1. No impairment. At this early stage of the disease, there are no obvious symptoms. Even so, certain medical tests could reveal the early signs of mental deterioration.

    2. Very mild decline. You might notice that your loved one is more forgetful. They can still drive, get dressed, and eat on their own, but they might leave important items at home, like their wallet, purse, or cellphone.

    3. Mild decline. In this stage, your loved one might repeat themselves or have difficulty remembering recent events, like a trip you took to the movies or the zoo.

    4. Moderate decline. Routine activities like counting money, following directions, or running errands become increasingly difficult. Your care recipient might start asking more questions.

    5. Moderate to severe decline. People in this stage begin forgetting names and faces. You might also notice that your senior needs help with basic activities like tying their shoes or brushing their teeth.

    6. Severe decline. In the severe stage of dementia, people forget the names of their friends and family members. They need help with activities of daily living like eating, bathing, and going to the toilet. Many people in this stage also experience personality changes

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    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

    How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated

    Our Parkinson

    There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.

    Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.

    Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.

    Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.

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    What Are The Two Types Of Lewy Body Dementia

    Lewy bodies can also be found in the brains of patients with Parkinsons. Moreover, Lewy body dementia can refer to dementia with Lewy bodies or dementia caused by Parkinsons. However, Parkinsons initially affects motors skills. Lewy body dementia usually affects memory or causes hallucinations first.

    /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:


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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.


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