The Key Differences Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s
There is a common misconception that dementia and Alzheimer’s are two separate conditions, however this isn’t exactly the case.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Essentially, dementia is an overarching term to describe a series of symptoms, including a decline in memory and reasoning skills. However, it doesn’t refer to a specific disease. It can have a variety of different causes, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. A doctor can determine that a patient is dealing with dementia, but then must go a step further and diagnose what is causing the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is very often the cause, but not in every case.
Dementia can also be caused by Lewy body disease, Parkinson’s, chronic infection, reaction to a medication, or even severe depression. This is why diagnosing is vital – some of these conditions could be reversible.
Regardless of the diagnosis, knowing the cause can empower loved ones and caregivers with knowledge to help the patient seek treatment and support. Therefore, if your loved one is struggling with symptoms of dementia, it is important to determine the underlying cause.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other conditions that can cause dementia is always difficult news. There are options for treatment that have the potential to slow the progress of the disease. Cognitive stimulation is one of the ways that patients can work on their memory and cognitive function after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other conditions causing symptoms of dementia.