As people age, they become more susceptible to different cognitive and memory-related impairments. Alzheimer’s and dementia are two such common conditions that affect the elderly population. Though both conditions affect cognitive abilities, they are different and require unique types of care and treatment. Even though dementia and Alzheimer’s affect millions of people, a lot of us don’t know much about them, which can make it much harder to recognize early signs and symptoms. That’s why you should take the time to educate yourself. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading for a basic guide on the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Many people find themselves asking, what is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often used interchangeably, though they don’t refer to the same condition. Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that cause cognitive decline, including memory loss and difficulties with communication, problem-solving, and other thinking skills. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that specifically affects brain cells in areas responsible for memory and thinking skills. It accounts for the vast majority of dementia cases.
The most common symptom shared between dementia and Alzheimer’s is difficulty with memory recall. People with both conditions may experience significant difficulty remembering things from recent events to long-term memories from childhood. In addition, those affected by either condition may also suffer from confusion when it comes to basic tasks such as using everyday objects like phones or cooking utensils; this confusion often manifests itself as an inability to complete certain activities without help or guidance from others.
Other signs of dementia include changes in behavior such as increased agitation, language difficulties such as speaking slowly or slurring words, impaired judgment and reasoning skills (including decision-making), and reduced motivation for normal activities. Depression can also occur frequently among those suffering from dementia-related issues too. If you notice any of these early signs or symptoms, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible.
What else do you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects an individual’s cognitive abilities, including memory recall, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease works to destroy brain cells, starting with those that are responsible for memory and cognitive functions. There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but scientists and researchers have been working tirelessly to find a cure or at least develop treatments that can address the symptoms of the disease. The majority of treatments currently available aim to manage symptoms and increase comfort.
Alzheimer’s disease cannot be diagnosed with a single test. To make a diagnosis, doctors often combine a number of tests and procedures, including a medical history and physical examination, lab testing, and brain imaging. Doctors may also administer tests to evaluate a person’s cognitive function, such as assessments of memory, language, problem-solving skills, and attention span, in order to rule out other potential causes of symptoms. As was already indicated, if you want to preserve the maximum quality of life possible, early detection and treatment are necessary.
Clearly, the importance of understanding the distinction between Alzheimer’s and dementia can’t be overstated. While both conditions result in memory loss and cognitive decline, they have different causes and treatments. With an accurate diagnosis, patients can access resources to help manage their disease and improve their quality of life. Just be sure to learn as much as you can about the condition you have, so you can access the medical care you need. By following the tips in this article, you will be able to take the best possible care of yourself and your loved ones.