Dementia Versus Alzheimer’s Disease: Not One and the Same

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are not interchangeable terms. Although they have similar symptoms and are branches of the same overall problem, it is critical to make a distinction between the two through a medical diagnosis by a dementia specialist. I scanned through several articles on the Internet and made a small comparison of the two conditions.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease: (Unique Disease)

  • Alzheimer’s is the most common FORM of dementia.
  • Severe memory LOSS (as the disease progresses).

Ex:) Forget how to dress, Fail to recognize familiar people/places, Problems speaking/reading/writing, Tendency to wander away.

  • Can occur as early as 45 years old.
  • Different for each individual affected by the disease.
  • Progressively gets worse, is fatal.

2. Dementia: (Umbrella Term)

  • Describes a number of symptoms related to mental degredation.
  • Common problem in the elderly population
  • Diagnosed later in life: 70-80 years old
  • Some causes of dementia are treatable
  • Memory IMPAIRMENT related with old age

Ex:) Forgetfulness, Difficulty making plans/thinking ahead, Orientation problems.

  • Includes: Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, head injury, delirium, stroke, brain tumor, Alcoholic Dementia, Multi-Infarct Dementia, etc…

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, visit the wealth of information at the Alzheimer’s Association website at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_related_diseases.asp

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