Is it dementia or Alzheimer’s?
The difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia can be tricky, but it’s not too hard to understand. In a nutshell, dementia is not one specific disease; it’s a combination of symptoms with many different causes, including Alzheimer’s disease. When facing dementia, your doctor needs to diagnose the underlying cause, and while Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of change, it’s not the only one. Dementia can also be caused by vascular changes in the brain, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body disease, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid gland problems, chronic brain infections, or medications. Even an intense depression can sometimes be like dementia which means if someone has dementia, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer’s.