What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
Alzheimer's = a disease
Dementia = a symptom
The easiest way to think about it is that Alzheimer’s is a disease and dementia is a symptom.
can be caused by many medical conditions and is a symptom of a disease
not a disease itself, whereas Alzheimer’s is a specific disease which
can cause dementia.
A few facts about Alzheimer's Disease vs Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease was first recorded in
1907 by Dr Alois Alzheimer when he reported
the case of Auguste Deter.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease can affect
anyone at any age but usually affects people over the age of 65 years.
Familial Alzheimer’s disease is a rare
genetic condition that can affect people under the age of 65 years. Some even
in their 40’s and 50’s.
Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain so
that it impairs memory, thinking and behavior.
The biggest risk factor is advancing age 1
in 4 people over 85 years having dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease causes around 70% of all cases of dementia.
Dementia is a symptom caused by many
conditions, it is not a specific disease. It results in a decline in mental ability
which interferes with the sufferer’s ability to cope with daily life.
Dementia can be caused following a stroke. It can also be caused by thyroid problems or vitamin deficiency and as both
these can be reversed prompt diagnosis should be sought.
Dementia is damage to brain cells which
causes an inability of communication between cells which interferes with memory
and thinking processes.
Any concerns of a family member should be
reported to the family GP. Early diagnoses and some treatment may slow down symptoms.
What to do if you suspect dementia symptoms
Whenever anyone begins to show signs of confusion, changes of personality, depression, anxiety, or an inability to cope with everyday routines, which they had been previously capable of, then medical advice should be sought. You can read more about some of the early warning signs here.
Dementia can be caused by a head injury, a stroke, or a brain tumor to mention only a few. And it can also be caused by Alzheimer's disease. But there are hundreds of different causes. It is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible, as some causes of dementia can be treated much more effectively if diagnosed early.
Depending on which parts of the brain are affected and the different causes of dementia means that there are various different behavior patterns seen in sufferers. Therefore not all dementia sufferers symptoms are similar. It is always essential to get a specialist diagnosis as soon as you notice symptoms of concern.
Caring for people with Alzheimer’s vs Dementia
The general care for
people who have dementia for whatever cause is similar, though
medication and life expectancy may differ depending on what condition
has caused the dementia.
My book on
Alzheimer’s Caregiving will also help those whose relatives have from
dementia from any cause. It focuses on the caregiver and their need to
look after themselves too. There are chapters on coping with grief, as
well as sections on all of the challenges which caregivers face on a day
to day basis. The book also contains an interview with a real
caregiver on the daily realities of caring for someone with
The book is also ideal for helping professional carers too. There are many helpful tips and practical advice on coping with many of the typical day-to-day challenges of dementia.
For more information on the contents of the book click on the image.
Watch this short video where I explain the differences:
Where to get help:
Have You Considered One-on-One Online Grief Counseling?
Get Expert and Effective Help in the Comfort of Your Own Home
The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.
Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward? It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life.
Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.
Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you. It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.
Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.
Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone.
Please help our colleagues at Yeshiva University, USA by joining in their research study:
ARE YOU A CAREGIVER OR HAVE YOU RECENTLY LOST SOMEONE
#33769566.1 IRB Approved at the Study Level. 21 July 2022
We are seeking individuals who are caregiving for someone with a life-limiting illness and those who have experienced a significant loss to participate in a research study through Yeshiva University. The purpose of the study is to develop a questionnaire to identify those who may be in need of caregiver or grief support in order to ultimately improve family-centered care in hospitals and clinics.
For caregivers and bereaved individuals who would like to contribute to our understanding of caregiving and bereavement, this is a way to make a difference.
"The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life"
Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day!
All you have to do to receive this free document is fill in your email address below.
You will also receive our newsletter which we send out from time to time with our newest comforting and helpful information. You can unsubscribe any time you like, and don't worry, your email address is totally safe with us.
NEW BONUS - Also receive a copy of our short eBook - '99 Ways to Spot a Great Grief Counselor'. Available for instant download as soon as you sign up. Never waste money on poor counseling again!
Join us on Facebook for articles, support, discussion and more. Click 'Like' below.