Many people have heard about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but understanding the difference between the two problems can be difficult because they are closely connected. That is why this overview of dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease is something that should help you understand the two diseases and how they affect various individuals. Both diseases generally affect people in their later years, but there have been some reported cases of static dementia occurring from a traumatic injury and early onset Alzheimer’s. So it is possible for middle-aged individuals to experience these problems as well.
When we look at dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to note that Alzheimer’s is a specific form of dementia, not a completely separate occurrence. This is often one of the notes of confusion because people think of them as divided when in fact they are two different branches of the same overall problem. For example, both diseases affect the cognitive function of the people who have been diagnosed with one of these syndromes. Some of the most common areas that are affected by the diseases include memory loss, the inability to solve problems, difficulty with language, and a deficit of attention.
Alzheimer’s disease is something that is different for each specific individual who is afflicted with the disease. Because of this there is no way to declare a set of direct symptoms that you can tie into the disease one hundred percent. However, the most commonly recognized problem that is connected to Alzheimer’s is the loss of a person’s memory. This loss can be something that is gradual or aggressive, but generally people who are having problems with Alzheimer’s will find that they no longer remember certain events, and they might have confusion when presented with simple tasks. Since this is a progressive prognosis the expected lifespan of those who have been diagnosed ranges from seven to fifteen years after the diagnosis.
Dementia is usually very similar to Alzheimer’s, but there are differences in the progression and rate of the disease. The only way to specifically differentiate between the two is to get a brain scan so that the doctor can see how the brain is being affected and can make an accurate diagnosis. If someone is suffering from dementia, then they will also notice the memory loss, confusion, language disorder, and difficulty solving problems. However, most doctors will require that the symptoms be persistently present for at least six months before a definitive diagnosis can be made. If the episodes of cognitive function are short-lived is generally referred to as delirium.
As with Alzheimer’s, dementia is generally a progressive disease. However, there are some cases in which the symptoms can be reversed, but this is in fewer than ten percent of those who have been affected with the disease. It all depends on the origination of the dementia, and whether or not it was caused by a disease pattern or by a traumatic event. Unlike Alzheimer’s there are some people who might find relief from prescription medications that can help to treat the disease to some degree, although eventually medications will not be able to stall out the dementia’s progression.
Overall, in the look at dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to know that both diseases are progressive cognitive disorders. If you know someone who appears to be suffering from one or more of these symptoms then you will want to make sure that you get to a doctor as soon as possible so that you can find out for sure if either Alzheimer’s or dementia is the root of the problem.
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