Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
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.
The Use Of The Word Senile
The common use of the word;senile;loosely references the loss of cognitive abilities or the inability to think clearly. Although still occasionally used, this term has lost its popularity, partly because it has a negative, disrespectful tone, as in, “The old man is senile.”
Senile;was used more commonly in the past, especially when memory loss and confusion were thought of, by some, as a normal consequence of getting older. The view used to be that the body and the mind both could be expected to decline together as someone aged, and that poor mental functioning was just a normal part of aging.
An individual was often described as having “senile dementia” or “senile Alzheimer’s,” meaning that the disease and its associated mental decline developed in older age.
Science now understands that significant memory loss,;disorientation,;and confusion are not normal parts of aging but rather are symptoms of a neurocognitive disorder such as;Alzheimer’s,;vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, or;Lewy body dementia.
Senile is sometimes used to describe the plaques that build up in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. These senile plaques are often described as one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, along with;neurofibrillary tangles.
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 –
Also Check: What Effects Does Alzheimer’s Have On The Brain
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.
Symptoms Specific To Frontotemporal Dementia
Although Alzheimer’s disease is still the;most common;type of dementia in people under 65, a higher percentage of people in this age group may develop frontotemporal dementia than older people.;Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 45-65.
Early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia;may include:
- personality;changes; reduced sensitivity to others’ feelings, making people seem cold and unfeeling
- lack of social awareness; making inappropriate jokes or showing a lack of tact, though some people may become very withdrawn and apathetic
- language problems; difficulty finding the right words or understanding them
- becoming obsessive; such;as developing fads for unusual foods, overeating and drinking
Read more about frontotemporal dementia.
Read Also: What Diseases Are Similar To Alzheimer’s
Early Stages Of Dementia
This may appear as simple forgetfulnessmisplacing the checkbook, forgetting someones name, or going into the kitchen to get something and not remembering what that was. Is the problem dementia, or just being overtired or distracted? Arent most folks over 65 a little more forgetful?
In this early stage, patients are still able to live and function independently, although increased contact with family and friends, and some assistance, like weekly housecleaning services, can help. In this way, a trusted caregiver can monitor the patients ability to cope with mild dementia.
What Is Difference Between Senility And Dementia
- Subtle short-term memory changes. Trouble with memory can be an early symptom of dementia.
- Difficulty finding the right words.
- Changes in mood.
- A failing sense of direction.
Secondly, what are the 5 types of dementia? There are five main types of dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Disease. Probably the most known and the most common dementia type, Alzheimer is a consequence of an abnormal shrinkage of the brain.
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies.
Similarly one may ask, what are the 10 warning signs of dementia?
These early signs of dementia are:
- Memory loss.
- Difficulty planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty doing familiar tasks.
- Being confused about time or place.
- Challenges understanding visual information.
- Poor judgment or decision-making.
How can you test for dementia at home?
The SAGE ExamSAGE was formulated to detect the earliest signs of cognitive impairment and was developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The test can be done at home in 15 minutes with paper and pen.
You May Like: Is Weight Loss A Symptom Of Dementia
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
Inaccurate Definitions Can Cause Confusion And Misperceptions
Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology.
The most basic definition of;senile;from Merriam-Webster is “relating to, exhibiting, or characteristic of, old age.” Thus, the pure use of the word senile simply refers to its age.
However, the use of the word;senile;is more commonly, but somewhat incorrectly, associated with a decline in mental abilities, such as;memory loss;or confusion, as people age. Take, for example, this sentence: “Their senile grandmother would never remember their visits, but they knew they brightened her day.”
Senile;is often combined with other words, such as senile;Alzheimer’s, senile;dementia,;and senile plaques. Senile can also be added as a descriptor and applied to other medical conditions, such as senile arthritis or senile;osteoporosis.
The word senile in these cases refers to the older age in which the condition developed and is completely unrelated to your cognitive function. Another common form of the word is senility.
You May Like: Does Alzheimer Disease Run In The Family
Summary Of Dementia Vs Senility
- Dementia and senility can both appear as forgetfulness.
- Senility is an old-fashioned term that was used to also indicate dementia.
- Senility may or may not indicate dementia.
- Dementia is a severe form of senility that is progressive and worsens.
- Dementia is progressive and usually becomes worse over time.
- Dementia can take many forms including Alzheimers disease, but it can also occur with vascular problems or infections.
Stroke Vs Dementia: Differences Based On Their Treatment
When a stroke occurs, the first 3-24 hours after is referred to as the golden window or golden hour. It is called so as there is a good chance of reversing any damage that the stroke may have caused to the brain by starting the patient on medication soon after initial diagnosis of a stroke. Early treatment is crucial in stroke cases as blood flow to a part of the brain is cut off due to a clot in the artery. Brain cells are dying every minute and irreversible damage is caused the more delay that occurs. tPA is given via IV so as to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow.
Dementia treatment depends on the cause firstly. In cases of Alzheimers disease with dementia, there is no cure per se. But the symptoms or progression of Dementia can be slowed down with the help of medication. Symptomatic treatment is the basis for treatment here.
Stroke is caused due to a clot in the artery which obstructs the flow of oxygen to a part of the brain whereas dementia is a decline in mental function, which can pose other risks in day to day life and require constant supervision and support.
It can be difficult to differentiate between a stroke and dementia, but with a little knowledge of the both and also reaching out to someone else if you have the slightest doubt can go a long way in helping save a life.
What Is Dementia And What Are The Symptoms
Dementia is the term for a group of symptoms that occur when the brain is damaged by diseases. This includes Alzheimer’s disease or diseases of the blood vessels that can cause a stroke. These diseases can cause a significant decline in a person’s mental abilities or ‘cognitive function’ – our capacity for things like memory, thinking and reasoning.
For a doctor to diagnose dementia, a person’s symptoms must have become bad enough to significantly affect their daily life, not just be an occasional minor irritation. This means having new problems with everyday activities about the house, in the community or at work. For example, starting to have problems paying household bills, using the phone, managing medicines, driving safely or meeting up with friends.
If a person has symptoms that are worse than would normally be expected for a healthy person their age, but are not severe enough to significantly affect their daily life, a doctor may diagnose mild cognitive impairment . This is not a type of dementia, though some people who have MCI will go on to develop dementia.
How Dementia Is Different From Senility
While senility is a loosely used and somewhat inaccurate and negative reference to cognitive loss, dementia is an accepted medical term.
Dementia;includes a broad range of brain conditions that cause a progressive;decline in a person’s ability to think and remember. Moreover, the loss of these abilities makes it increasingly difficult for people to function or care for themselves.
The most common causes of dementia include;Alzheimer’s disease, followed by;vascular dementia,;Lewy body dementia,;and;frontotemporal dementia. Other less common causes include Huntington’s disease, tertiary syphilis, HIV-associated dementia, and CreutzfeldtJakob disease.
While there is no cure;for dementia, the progression of the condition is typically slow. When faced with evidence of dementia,;doctors will usually classify it by stage based on symptoms.;Based on the findings, the stage of the condition may be classified as follows:
Also Check: How Do You Treat Someone With Dementia
What To Do If You Think Your Parent Has Dementia
You notice that Mom keeps telling you things on the phone that she told you about just days before. Maybe you travel to visit your father over the summer and are greeted by him wearing a winter coat and greeting your son by the wrong name.
Theres no denying it anymoresomething is wrong. Youre worried about their memory issues and decide its time to have a gentle conversation with them about your concerns. But how do you approach the conversation without hurting their feelings or making them defensive?
Here are some tips for having the conversation with your parent:
- Think about who is the best person to talk with them about it. Would it be easier coming from your sibling or another trusted family member or friend?
- Practice the conversation beforehand so you have an idea of what youre going to say.
- Offer support.
- Anticipate that your parent may deny the problem.
The next step is to talk to your parents doctor. Encourage them to schedule a visit and offer to go along if they would like. Once you have answers, you can start evaluating their living options.
Perhaps its no longer best for their health if they remain at home. In that case, there are options available to you, including memory support in a Life Plan Community that offers a full continuum of care.
Remember, you do not have to carry this burden alone. Talk with health professionals and seek advice from senior living experts if you have questions or concerns.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Agitation In Dementia Patients
Symptoms Specific To Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies has many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and people with the condition typically also experience:
- periods of being alert or drowsy, or;fluctuating levels of confusion
- visual hallucinations
- becoming slower in their physical movements
- repeated falls and fainting
Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.
Normal Aging Memory Loss Vs Dementia
Memory problems dont always indicate dementia. According to the National Institute on Aging, its perfectly natural to experience age-related memory loss.
Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain, they advise. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems
So how do you tell the difference between normal memory loss due to aging and dementia symptoms? Its not an exact science , but the chart below can help give you an idea of what youre up against.
Normal Aging Memory Loss
Consistently demonstrating poor decision-making skills
Forgetting what day it is
Forgetting what season it is
Searching for the right word to use in conversation
Struggling to maintain a conversation
Forgetting to pay a monthly bill
Experiencing problems with managing finances
Losing a commonly used item, like keys or glasses
Misplacing things frequently and being unable to locate them within the house
Forgetting the name of a recent acquaintance
Forgetting the name of a close friend or family member
Difficulty driving to a new location
Getting lost while driving in familiar places
Typical mood fluctuations consistent with their personality
Dramatic mood swings or changes in personality
Read Also: Is Dementia Related To Alzheimer’s
Middle Stages Of Dementia
In those stages, patients may still be able to live independently, although they will require more assistance with their activities of daily living. Managing finances, and assistance with dressing and bathing are commonly needed, as people with mid-stage dementia often experience more confusion, additional memory loss, sleep pattern disturbances such as sleeping during the day and restlessness at night.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Someone With Dementia
Senile Dementias Of The Alzheimer Type
Alzheimer disease and related senile dementias are progressive and debilitating neuropsychiatric diseases. Alzheimer disease is manifested by memory loss, language deficits, and other symptoms, and it usually terminates in death from some debilitating condition in approximately a decade. Although the cause of Alzheimer disease remains an active area of investigation, the dementia appears to be a form of amyloid encephalopathy resulting from the deposition of the protein -amyloid in selective regions of the CNS. The deposition of this protein causes the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, oxidation, inflammation, neuronal cell death due to multiple factors, and loss of several different neurotransmitters important in cognition and memory. One central neurochemical affected by Alzheimer disease, especially early in the course of the illness, is ACh.