Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are both conditions that impact cognitive function, but they are not the same thing. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of symptoms that impact memory, thinking, and reasoning. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia that is caused by progressive damage to the brain cells.
Some of the key differences between alzheimers vs dementia include:
What is the cause?
Dementia can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, while Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is caused by damage to the brain cells. Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a group of symptoms that can be caused by a variety of different underlying conditions. Some of the most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia.
Vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a decrease in the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the brain receives, which can damage the brain cells. The most common symptoms of vascular dementia include memory loss, confusion, difficulty with balance and coordination, and changes in mood or behavior.
Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This can lead to a decrease in the number of neurotransmitters that are produced, which can damage the brain cells. The most common symptoms of frontotemporal dementia include changes in personality and behavior, difficulty with speech and language, and problems with movement and coordination.
Lewy body dementia is caused by the build-up of Lewy bodies in the brain. These are abnormal protein deposits that can damage the brain cells. The most common symptoms of Lewy body dementia include changes in mood and behavior, problems with thinking and reasoning, and difficulty with movement and coordination.
What are the symptoms?
Dementia symptoms can vary from person to person. They may also vary over time. Some people may experience symptoms gradually and worsen over time. Others may experience more rapid onset and deterioration. The most common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion, difficulty with language, disorientation, problems with reasoning and judgment, and changes in mood or behavior.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Its symptoms often develop more rapidly than those of other types of dementia. They may also worsen more quickly. The most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, confusion, difficulty with language, disorientation, problems with reasoning and judgment, and changes in mood or behavior.
What is its impact?
Dementia can impact any area of cognitive function, while Alzheimer’s disease is specifically associated with problems with memory. However, people with dementia can also experience difficulty with thinking, problem-solving, judgment, language, and communication. In addition, they may have changes in their mood and behavior, which can be very challenging for caregivers and loved ones.
When does it occur?
Dementia can occur at any age, but Alzheimer’s disease is most common in older adults. The number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to grow as the population ages. Early onset Alzheimer’s disease is a severe form of the disease that affects people younger than age 65. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is rare, affecting only about 200,000 Americans.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to seek medical evaluation. There is no one “test” to diagnose these conditions, but a variety of tests and assessments can help to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms and provide a more accurate diagnosis. Treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms but may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.