What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms associated with a loss of memory, language skills, problem-solving abilities, and other cognitive functions severe enough to interfere with daily living. Alzheimer‘s is the most common cause of dementia. Damage to brain cells causes dementia. This harm disrupts brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other. This disrupted communication may affect thinking, behaviour and feelings. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, dementia is not an individual disease. Still, it is instead a general term that covers memory loss, confusion and decision-making difficulties that can interfere with daily life. Though dementia most commonly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal ageing.

Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Dementia is not a single disease but a general term, like heart disease, covering a range of specific medical conditions. The term dementia describes a range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. In general, dementia describes disorders in which abnormal brain changes occur. These changes cause a decline in thinking skills that can impair independent function and daily life. Dementia also affects behaviour, feelings, and relationships. What is dementia disease? You can refer to our previous articles to find out the answer to this question.

With complex brain changes following cell damage, Alzheimer’s leads to dementia symptoms that steadily worsen. The main early sign of Alzheimer’s is difficulty learning new information because the disease typically affects the region of the brain associated with learning first.

Dementia Symptoms

difference between dementia and Alzheimer's

Symptoms of dementia often appear slowly and then get worse with time because many conditions are progressive. There are several signs and symptoms of dementia; including early symptoms and warning symptoms.

Early Symptoms of Dementia

The early symptoms of dementia can vary, but common ones include:

  • Problems with memory, particularly recalling recent events
  • Confusion increases
  • Decreased concentration
  • Behavioural or personality changes
  • Depression or apathy
  • Having difficulty performing daily tasks.

If you or someone you know is experiencing memory problems, consult a doctor soon. Professional evaluation may uncover a treatable condition. And even if dementia is suspected, early diagnosis may allow a person to benefit most from available treatments.

Ten Warning Signs of Dementia

Consult a doctor if several of these symptoms are evident:

  1. Memory loss and dementia: People with dementia may forget appointments more often or not remember them at all.
  2. Difficulty with tasks: The steps involved in preparing a meal may become too difficult for someone with dementia because they might become distracted. At the same time, people living with dementia might forget parts of the meal.
  3. Dementia and disorientation: People with dementia can have difficulty finding their way to places they are familiar with or may think they are in the past.
  4. Language problems: It’s not uncommon for people with dementia to have trouble finding the right word. They may also substitute inappropriate words, making sentences hard to understand.
  5. Abstract thinking: Financial management is challenging for anyone, but people with dementia may have difficulty understanding numbers or knowing what to do with them.
  6. Poor judgment: Dementia can affect the ability to make appropriate decisions, which means the individual may not decide what to wear in cold weather.
  7. Poor spatial skills: If someone has dementia, they can have difficulty judging distances or directions in a car.
  8. Dementia and misplacing things: anyone can misplace a wallet or keys momentarily. Someone with dementia may not know what the keys are for.
  9. Mood, behaviour and personality change: Those with dementia may exhibit mood swings for no apparent reason. They can become confused, suspicious, withdrawn, or even disinhibited. They may even become more outgoing.
  10. Loss of initiative: People with dementia may be lost previously enjoyed activities, or people may require cues to get involved.

Many conditions may cause similar symptoms to those of dementia. Strokes, infections, hormonal disorders, depression, excessive long-term alcohol abuse, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours are possible causes of dementia-like symptoms. You can treat most of these conditions.

Alzheimer Symptoms

difference between dementia and Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s is a progressive and debilitating disease of the brain that causes memory loss, loss of reasoning skills and thinking difficulties. If you notice any of these ten signs and symptoms, don’t ignore them; make an appointment with your doctor. Losing memory and interrupting daily activities may be signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. You can also read about everything about Alzheimer’s disease. Ten early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality

Identifying symptoms in yourself or another person can be difficult, especially when you don’t know what to do. Many people feel unsure or nervous about discussing these changes. Shared observations about a person’s abilities or behaviour may make them seem more real. It’s essential to consult a doctor about these concerns since they are major health problems that you must address. Although Alzheimer’s disease does not have a cure and cannot be stopped or slow down, drugs and non-drugs can treat symptoms. Such as Combat Alzheimer’s with 5 Tasty Turmeric Recipes. Understanding available options are essential for both individuals living with the disease and those caring for them.

Final Words

Keep in mind; dementia is not a normal part of healthy ageing. While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, not all people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. Having a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of dementia.

Use this article only as educational material. You must consult your doctor and/or specialist prior to using it. Read more about this disclaimer.

Source alz betterhealth
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4 months ago

I always thought Alzheimer’s is the same as dementia. When I heard Alzheimer’s, I used to think of my friend in high school; her aunt had Alzheimer’s. But now I’m worried about my brother. He’s so forgetful these days. He always misplaces his stuff, which never happened before. And He has these mood changes almost all the time. He doesn’t like talking about it, But I think I have to let his doctor know. 

Reply to  Olivia
3 months ago

Yes, my mother had symptoms like dementia, so I was too worried about it. I went to the doctor, they gave her MRI. Fortunately, she didn’t have dementia. But this is a frightening illness. I hope no one deal with this disease. 

3 months ago

Wow, this was very informative. I knew there was a difference between them, but I never tried to find out what the difference was. Glad I came across this article. I’m 60, and every year I fear these two words more. I wish no one would have to go through such diseases.

3 months ago

Before I read this article, I thought that Alzheimer’s and dementia are alike. Now I know that they are different!