What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Many people use the words “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s disease” interchangeably. However, they’re not the same thing. You can have a form of dementia that is completely unrelated to Alzheimer’s.
Here is a list of the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s.
• Dementia is a Group of Symptoms: Dementia isn’t a disease. It’s a group of symptoms that affect mental tasks like memory and reasoning. Dementia can be caused by a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s.
• Signs of Dementia: Early symptoms of dementia can be mild and easily overlooked. It often begins with episodes of forgetfulness. As dementia progresses, forgetfulness and confusion grow. It becomes harder to recall names and faces. Personal care becomes a problem. In the most advanced stage, dementia patients become unable to care for themselves.
• Causes of Dementia: Dementia is a problem of the brain that you’re more likely to develop as you age. Many conditions can cause dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. Infections such as HIV can trigger dementia. So can vascular diseases and stroke. Depression and chronic drug use are other causes.
• Alzheimer’s is a Disease: Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly impairs memory and cognitive function. The exact cause is unknown and there is no cure.
• The Alzheimer’s Brain: Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms show. Abnormal protein deposits form plaques and tangles in the brain. Connection between cells are lost and they begin to die.
• Treating Dementia: In some cases, treating the condition that causes dementia can help. Conditions most likely to respond to treatment include dementia caused by drugs, tumors, metabolic disorders, and hypoglycemia. In most cases, dementia can be treated. The right medication can help manage dementia, including dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.
• Mixed Dementia: Dementia consists of a set of symptoms that can be indicative of more than one underlying condition. Often, patients are found to have multiple conditions that may contribute to dementia. Many of these people are thought to have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.



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