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.
The Nature Of Alzheimer Disease Is Progressive
Find out the difference dementia vs alzheimer’s disease. Dementia can be caused by either parkinson’s or alzheimer’s. Dementia and alzheimer’s disease treatment. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common condition that causes dementia, with around six in every 10 cases caused by alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is one of those disorders, but there are many different types and causes of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and mixed dementia (which is. What is the difference between alzheimer’s and dementia? The truth is that both diseases are poorly understood, and the symptoms are similar enough to make them easily confused, even by doctors.the confusion is. In addition, some people with dementia cannot control their emotions. The person may get more confused, and. Alzheimer’s is worse than dementia because several forms of dementia are curable, whereas alzheimer’s is not. Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years. Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency.
As time goes on, these problems will get worse. The person may get more confused, and. Get an overview of each and learn about early symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. These diseases can cause a significant decline in a person’s mental the table shows changes for the most common types of dementia: She didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody, she’s the.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Nootropics Help With Dementia
How Do Dementia Patients Die
The actual death of a person with dementia may be caused by another condition. They are likely to be frail towards the end. Their ability to cope with infection and other physical problems will be impaired due to the progress of dementia. In many cases death may be hastened by an acute illness such as pneumonia.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Differentiate Delirium From Dementia
Is Dementia A Mental Illness
Dementia is a mental health disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name to Major Neurocognitive Disorder, which is a mouthful. The change was made in order to provide a clearer description of the problem. Whats most important to know is that dementias can involve changes to emotions, behaviors, perceptions, and movements in addition to memory and thinking.
Icipating In Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials
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.
Read Also: How Do You Treat Someone With Dementia
The Effect Of Alzheimers Medication
Different scenarios play out when a person with AD takes Alzheimers medicine. For some, the medication offers relief to some symptoms an individual is facing.
A percentage of individuals will not get any results after taking the medicine.
Some people can become worse after they start taking the medication.
This goes to show that it is not possible to say yes or no when answering the query can Alzheimers medication make you worse.
David Perlmutter a professional neurologist is of the point of view that medication should be a last resort when taking care of an individual with AD.
He states that most drugs prescribed to treat AD are associated with more aggressive cognitive function .
David urges physicians to change their care approach.
He reports that he has dealt with the progressive illness for years having lost his dad to the disease and has not yet identified any medication that helps.
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.
Don’t Miss: Can Low Fat Diet Cause Dementia
Medications To Treat The Underlying Alzheimer’s Disease Process
Aducanumab is the first disease-modifying therapy approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimers disease. The medication helps to reduce amyloid deposits in the brain and may help slow the progression of Alzheimers, although it has not yet been shown to affect clinical outcomes such as progression of cognitive decline or dementia. A doctor or specialist will likely perform tests, such as a PET scan or analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, to look for evidence of amyloid plaques and help decide if the treatment is right for the patient.
Aducanumab was approved through the FDAs Accelerated Approval Program. This process requires an additional study after approval to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit. If the follow-up trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may withdraw approval of the drug. Results of the phase 4 clinical trial for aducanumab are expected to be available by early 2030.
Several other disease-modifying medications are being tested in people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimers as potential treatments.
What Is Known About Alzheimers Disease
Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimers disease. There likely is not a single cause but rather several factors that can affect each person differently.
- Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
- Family historyresearchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimers disease. However, genes do not equal destiny. A healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Two large, long term studies indicate that adequate physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking may help people. To learn more about the study, you can listen to a short podcast.
- Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.
- Researchers are studying whether education, diet, and environment play a role in developing Alzheimers disease.
- There is growing scientific evidence that healthy behaviors, which have been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, may also reduce risk for subjective cognitive decline. Heres 8 ways.
Also Check: Is Lewy Body Dementia A Genetic Disorder
Treatments For Vascular Dementia
There’s currently;no cure for vascular dementia and there’s no way to reverse any loss of brain cells that happened before;the condition;was diagnosed.
But treatment can sometimes help slow down vascular dementia.
Treatment aims to tackle the underlying cause, which;may reduce the speed at which brain cells are lost.
This will often involve:
- taking medicines, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, lower cholesterol;or prevent;blood clots
What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
Dementia is caused by different diseases that affect the brain. Alzheimers disease is the most common of these diseases. Some other common types of dementia include vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
This means that dementia is not a disease in its own right. Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that commonly include problems with memory, thinking, problem solving, language and perception.
While there is a relationship between dementia and Alzheimers disease,;there are key differences between the two.
Recommended Reading: Is Sugar Linked To Dementia
The Basics Of Alzheimers Disease
Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other biological features of Alzheimers disease. Advances in brain imaging techniques allow researchers to see the development and spread of abnormal amyloid and tau proteins in the living brain, as well as changes in brain structure and function. Scientists are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process by studying changes in the brain and body fluids that can be detected years before Alzheimers symptoms appear. Findings from these studies will help in understanding the causes of Alzheimers and make diagnosis easier.
One of the great mysteries of Alzheimers disease is why it largely affects older adults. Research on normal brain aging is exploring this question. For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimers damage. These age-related changes include atrophy of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, blood vessel damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and mitochondrial dysfunction .
Can Coffee Make Alzheimers Symptoms Worse
While many studies state that coffee consumption is beneficial some say that drinking coffee may make the symptoms of Alzheimers worse.
An example of such a study was done by experts from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
They reported that a study on mice revealed that exposure to caffeine for long periods is likely to increase behavioral symptoms of the illness, like anxiety.
The study reported that mice who were on caffeinated water have greater levels of BPSD including neophobia and anxiety. They also said that caffeine has little benefit for memory and learning in rodents.
The authors of the research; hence, concluded that professionals need to be careful when recommending coffee or other products with caffeine to persons with Alzheimers.
Don’t Miss: Do You Tell Dementia Patients The Truth
Causes Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills brain cells.;
This can;happen as a result of:
- narrowing and blockage of;the small blood vessels inside the brain
- a single;stroke, where the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off
- lots of “mini strokes” that cause tiny but widespread damage to the brain
Tackling these might reduce your risk of vascular dementia in later life, although;it’s not yet clear exactly how much your risk of dementia can be reduced.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Alzheimer’s And Dementia Naturally
How Is Alzheimers Disease Treated
Medical management can improve quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimers disease and for their caregivers. There is currently no known cure for Alzheimers disease. Treatment addresses several areas:
- Helping people maintain brain health.
- Managing behavioral symptoms.
- Slowing or delaying symptoms of the disease.
Can Dementia Suddenly Get Worse
The progression of dementia depends on the underlying disease. Some diseases have a rapid progression. Others progress more slowly. Any sudden change with either slow or rapid progression should be evaluated for another cause. In most cases, changes with dementia may seem like they came out of the blue when they actually may have been slowly developing in the background. The best way to prepare for changes and manage expectations is through information. Your doctor and medical team will be a valuable resource. There are a variety of educational resources that are also available through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Don’t Miss: How To Convince Dementia Patient To Shower
What To Do If You Suspect Alzheimers Disease
Getting checked by your healthcare provider can help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to Alzheimers disease, or a more treatable conditions such as a vitamin deficiency or a side effect from medication. Early and accurate diagnosis also provides opportunities for you and your family to consider financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials, and anticipate care needs.