Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

As the leading Nursing Agency in London, we’re continuing our blog posts on the most asked questions.

Although these two words are frequently used interchangeably, they have pretty different meanings. Dementia is not a disease in and of itself. It’s an all-encompassing word, often known as an umbrella term, covering a wide variety of symptoms.

These symptoms influence a person’s capacity to carry out daily tasks independently. Symptoms that are common include:

  • Memory deterioration.
  • Changes in one’s ability to think.
  • Poor decision-making and thinking abilities.
  • The ability to focus and pay attention has deteriorated.
  • Language and communication abilities change.

Alzheimer’s disease is one kind of dementia, but it is far from the only one. Dementia can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Lewy body Dementia.
  • Frontotemporal dementia is a kind of dementia that affects the frontal lob
  • Vascular dementia is a kind of dementia that affects the blood vessels
  • Parkinson’s disease causes dementia.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a kind of dementia.
  • Huntington’s disease is a neurological disorder.
  • Dementia with a mix of symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known and frequent kind of dementia, although it does not affect everyone who has dementia.

What are the most common symptoms of dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent kind of dementia. It often begins with recent memory loss and a steady deterioration in various cognitive functions, eventually leading to difficulties with everyday tasks over time. Dementia might manifest with the following symptoms in its early stages:

  • Changes in short-term memory are subtle.
  • Finding the correct words is difficult.
  • Changes in your mood/depression.
  • Completing usual (routine/familiar) duties is difficult.
  • Storylines are challenging to follow.
  • Deterioration in one’s sense of orientation.

What is the importance of early detection?

The degenerative mechanisms that cause Alzheimer’s disease start 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear and the condition is identified. As a result, early identification is critical for properly treating the symptoms.

It is advantageous to be able to receive an accurate and early diagnostic when cognitive symptoms begin to determine if one suffers or is at risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease:

When coping with recoverable forms of dementia

Psychoactive drugs, vitamin shortages, head trauma, tumours, different metabolic illnesses, hormonal disruption (thyroid), or infections can all produce temporary memory loss that can be recovered by effectively controlling the underlying cause.

The earlier the treatment, the better

Dementia treatment is often most successful when initiated early in the illness process. Although the medicine cannot cure neuronal degeneration, it can slow down the process and prevent further degradation, allowing patients to survive for a few months or years longer.

Early in the illness phase, diagnoses are more accurate

A more exact diagnosis can be made when a comprehensive history is gathered early in the illness process. When the individual in issue can answer questions about their mental wellbeing and disclose any problems, this can happen.

They should also be able to recollect or observe the logical sequence in which the symptoms first arose. Unfortunately, if all brain functions have been damaged, a reliable diagnosis is challenging to come by.

One can make the best judgments

Early diagnosis allows one to make better options that they may have neglected due to ignorance, such as moving away from family, breaking up with friends, or entering into financially demanding obligations.

One can make use of the following resources

Individuals identified early in the illness process can benefit from accessing health services and early-stage support groups and acquiring tips and tactics for managing and coping with the disease’s symptoms.

Treatment

Dementia is treated in a variety of ways. Medications licensed to treat Alzheimer’s disease are frequently used to treat other types of dementia. While some patients report that these drugs have no effect, others claim that they temporarily enhance cognitive function and reduce dementia.

Non-drug measures such as keeping a daily schedule, adjusting how caregivers interact with the person with dementia, and concentrating on nonverbal communication from your beloved ones are other ways to adapt to changes in cognition and behaviour.

Prevention

Although there is no sure-fire strategy to avoid dementia, evidence shows that keeping your brain busy, being sociable, getting regular physical activity, maintaining excellent heart health, and eating a balanced diet can help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and others forms of dementia.

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