Alzheimer’s disease is different from dementia. It often confuses people and they tend to use it interchangeably. Time to know the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia.
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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 their 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 be observed in 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 start 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. That’s why some memory care centers use elderly monitoring for dementia patients.
Once it’s in its advanced stage, the person will suffer memory loss, confusion bouts, and will 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, and have very poor hygiene because it can reach a point where 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.
The Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Dementia is just a symptom of an underlying disease and it could be Alzheimer’s disease, tumor, or another disease that is causing damages to your brain.
Another difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia is that the former is progressive and has no cure as of this time, while the latter 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 like Alzheimer’s disease, it can be treated.
While diagnosis is not yet made, dementia patient needs engagement, communication, and care.
Public Awareness and Research Funding
Although most of those who have family members dealing with the diseases are already aware of the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia 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 and how to treat and prevent it are still needed.