Dementia versus Alzheimer's: What's the difference?

Many people don't clearly understand the differences between Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Dementia is the general term that describes a set of symptoms that may be present in various conditions and diseases. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disease, and it is the most common cause of dementia.



The terms Alzheimer's and dementia are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same. A person who has dementia may or may not have Alzheimer's, but everyone who has Alzheimer's will have dementia. Sometimes doctors and health professionals are mistaken in the diagnosis because of dementia. Some prefer to use the word dementia because the term Alzheimer's can be frightening and overwhelming.


What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease, but a cluster of symptoms that may be present in certain conditions or diseases. This long decline of cognitive functions is so dangerous; that interferes person with daily activities.
Dementia is caused by a variety of illnesses and injuries that in the first turn provoked damage to the brain, such as Alzheimer's or stroke.

alzheimer`s disease

Dementia is one of the principal causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. It has a profound impact not only on the suffering people but also on their families and those take care of them. Often there is a lack of awareness of dementia and lack of understanding of this condition that leads to stigmatization and the emergence of barriers to diagnosis and medical care.

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Signs and symptoms

Dementia affects people in different ways. It depends on the impact of the disease and the individual characteristics of the person before the disease. Signs and symptoms associated with dementia have three stages of development. Numerous conditions cause dementia. Sometimes, side effects from medications can cause dementia as a symptom.

symptoms of dimentia

Early stage

  • forgetfulness;
  • loss account of time;
  • disorientation in familiar terrain.

Middle stage

  • forgetfulness about recent events and names of people;
  • violation of the orientation of the house;
  • increasing difficulties in communication;
  • need for assistance to care for themselves;
  • behavioral problems, including aimless, walking and asking the same questions.

Late stage

  • loss of orientation in time and space;
  • difficulties in the recognition of relatives and friends;
  • the increasing need for assistance to care for themselves;
  • difficulties in walking;
  • behavioral changes that may escalate and include aggression.

Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a conditional disease that causes the gradual destruction of brain cells. Over time, this disease causes dementia, gradually depriving the patient of his memory, learning ability, communication skills and capacity to self-care. Most patients with Alzheimer's, symptoms first appear after the age of 60, but Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer's starts in the part of the brain that stores recent memories, and then slowly spreads to other areas of the brain. The disease progresses through the brain at different speeds. It usually lasts from three to 20 years.
Alzheimer's disease is an incurable degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by gradual loss of mental abilities (memory, speech, logical thinking), the risk of which increases after age 65.

sings of alzheimr`s

Early stage 

  • forgetfulness, inability to remember recent events, which gradually progresses;
  • inability to recognize familiar objects;
  • emotional disorders, depression, anxiety;
  • disorientation;
  • apathy to the surrounding objects, people, and events.

Late stage

  • hallucinations, delusions;
  • inability to recognize familiar people, even close relatives;
  • problems with movement;
  • loss of ability for independent thinking and motion;
  • in some cases, seizures.

The results of the dementia

Many of the reasons of dementia are reversible, including depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, the interaction of medicaments, malnutrition, infections and hormone imbalance or thyroid. Some medications, such as high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, arthritis, and diabetes can also cause side effects that mimic dementia. There are also some conditions that cause irreversible dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are over 170 diseases that cause irreversible dementia.

results of dimentia

The results of Alzheimer's disease

Progressive brain damage and dementia are caused by the disease. There are treatments available to slow the rate of illness. By the time the disease reaches the final stage and leads to death.


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