Dementia vs Alzheimers: What Are the Differences?

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Do you know the differences between dementia vs Alzheimers? Alzheimer’s dementia will affect 6.5 million persons aged 65 and older in 2022.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the world. However, having dementia is not necessarily Alzheimer’s.

There are many forms of dementia, and knowing the distinctions is critical. Learning the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia guide can help you find the best care for your loved one.

Being informed can help you take the steps needed to help your loved one. Read on to learn about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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What Is Dementia?

Dementia is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that causes difficulty with thinking, memory, and language. It can also impact behavior, emotions, and movement.

Dementia may manifest itself in several ways, and depending on the cause, may be due to structural damage. Or an issue with the chemicals in the brain, as in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Although dementia can afflict persons of any age, it is more frequently found in the elderly. It is characterized by a gradual decline in the ability of the individual to think, reason, understand, and communicate. As the disease progresses, behavior problems can arise, and overall functioning can be limited.

Symptoms

The dementia clock test is a cognitive assessment. It helps identify symptomatic and at-risk individuals who may have dementia. Symptoms often start gradually and worsen over time.

Early signs can include difficulty processing information, remembering recent events, and language. Also, they have difficulty completing everyday tasks, concentrating, and confusion.

As dementia progresses, a person may experience confusion and disorientation. They experience impaired judgment, poor organizational skills, and changes in mood and behavior. They may also not be able to care for themselves and need help with basic tasks, such as eating and dressing.

Dementia can also lead to agitation, aggression, wandering, and delusions. In some cases, people with severe dementia may no longer be able to recognize friends and family. It is significant to seek medical help if you notice symptoms of dementia.

Causes

There are several causes of dementia. These are stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, head injuries, and Huntington’s disease. Also, certain types of dementia, such as Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.

Furthermore, some medical conditions can also affect cognition and lead to dementia. These are Vitamin B 12 deficiency, thyroid problems, depression, and malnutrition. In rare cases, a fungus or virus can also cause dementia.

Researchers are still exploring other potential causes, such as toxic exposure and genetics.

Treatments

Treatments for dementia vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Doctors can prescribe medications like cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. To slow the progression of dementia and manage some symptoms.

Cognitive stimulation therapy can help to improve thinking skills. Physical and occupational therapies can help maintain physical and emotional health.

Social and spiritual interventions can also help. This will promote a sense of purpose and control.

Lifestyle modifications may help to reduce the risk or slow its progression. These include eating a healthy diet and staying socially active.

Different Types of Dementia

There are different types of dementia. Each type has associated signs and symptoms and is diagnosed differently. Treatment for dementia depends on the type of dementia, the individual’s unique symptoms, and circumstances.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is a result of reduced blood flow. Also, blockages in the brain interfere with the formation of new memories.

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia is characterized by progressive memory loss. It also involves problems with movement and attention, difficulties with planning, and changes in behavior, such as paranoia.

Frontotemporal Dementia

FTD is damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It changes in behavior and language and difficulty with movement.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

A degenerative brain condition called Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affects memory and cognitive function. This type of dementia is the most prevalent. Also, it is an umbrella term for age-related mental decline and accounts for around 60-70% of all dementia cases.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease develop over several years. This may include problems remembering recent events and difficulty performing familiar tasks.

Besides, they may also experience difficulty planning, following conversations, and remembering common words. Also, it can decrease judgment and social skills.

Other later symptoms can include behavioral changes. They have increased agitation, anxiety, and apathy. And difficulties with self-care, such as eating, dressing, and toileting.

Causes

The causes of this disease are unknown, but some factors may increase its likelihood. These include genetics, age, environmental factors, lifestyle, and certain medical conditions.

Age is another factor believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Those aged over 65 are more likely to be affected than younger people.

Environmental factors have also been linked to the disease. Factors such as exposure to head trauma, toxins, and infectious agents

Other lifestyle habits can also increase the risk. It consists of poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Finally, medical conditions may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. These are diabetes, high blood pressure, and raised cholesterol.

Treatments

Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications, cognitive stimulation therapy, and surgery in some cases. Lifestyle changes can include exercising, eating a healthy diet, and learning new skills.

Medications approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are available to help slow down the progression of the disease. Cognitive stimulation therapy can include tasks to engage the person’s memory and cognition. These include word games and puzzles.

Surgery may be an option in some cases to help reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s. It’s important to talk to your doctor to decide the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.

Learn the Difference Between Dementia vs Alzheimers

Although Dementia and Alzheimer’s have similarities, it is vital to understand their differences. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Other forms of dementia include vascular, Lewy Body, and frontotemporal dementia.

Understand the differences between dementia vs Alzheimers. Its causes, symptoms, and treatments help families make the best care decisions for their loved ones. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dementia, talk to your doctor.