Alzheimer’s disease is different from dementia. It often confuses people and tend to use it interchangeably. Know the difference between the two.
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Dementia is not a disease but rather a term used to explain symptoms of brain disorder that greatly affects the person’s communication skills and ability to perform his/her daily tasks unassisted.
Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is a type of dementia that impairs the parts of the brain responsible for language, thought, and memory.
Though related, the two diagnoses are notably different. Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease can occur on young individuals, and as you get older, your risk of developing it increases. But it doesn’t mean it’s a normal part of growing old.
There is still much scientific research needed to know the exact cause of this worldwide pandemic.
What Is Dementia?
Early symptoms of dementia often starts with a simple bout of forgetfulness or absentmindedness. Individuals affected by this condition have difficulty monitoring time and are likely to lose their way in strange environments.
Once it’s in its advanced stage, the person will suffer memory loss, confusion bouts, and lose the ability to focus and pay attention. They will have a hard time recalling names, faces, and places. They tend to repeat questions, have poor decision-making skills, have very poor hygiene—to the point that they can no longer care for themselves. Their behavior changes for the worse, from depression to aggression.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease along with Huntington’s and Parkinson’s are the most common causes of dementia. It’s a degenerative brain disorder and is incurable. With Alzheimer’s, brain cells begin to die, it will steal a person’s memory, language, and personality.
Even before the symptoms come out, the disease’s damage to the brain is already there. Dementia appears in the later stage of Alzheimer’s.
To determine the cause of dementia symptoms, one should undergo a comprehensive checkup, including blood tests, mental health evaluation, and sometimes brain scans.
Dementia is just a symptom of an underlying disease and it could be Alzheimer’s, tumor, or other diseases that is causing damages to your brain.
Alzheimer’s is progressive and has no cure as of this time, while dementia is reversible, if it is only a side effect of a drug or other diseases that are curable.
As long as the cause of dementia is not a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s, it can be treated.
While diagnosis is not yet made, dementia patient needs engagement, communication, and care.
Public Awareness and Research Funding
While people who have a family member dealing with the diseases are already aware of the differences between the two and how to deal with it, the public still needs to be educated about the conditions to be able to understand and help clear confusions. Further studies on the exact cause of the disease how to treat and prevent it are still needed.