Differences Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The difference between Alzheimer’s and different types of memory loss that can be categorized as dementia?

Alzheimer’s and dementia contain a distinct difference.  The term dementia refers to a set of symptoms, not the disease itself.

The symptoms might include language difficulty, loss of recent memory, decrease in short term memory, or a decrease in a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.  Dementia is caused by physical changes in the brain that are visible to a neurologist in a scan. Unlike “senility,” which is a decrease in mental capacity or short-term memory function that is a normal part of aging, dementia symptoms are a set of serious conditions that are not a normal part of the aging process.

Alzheimer’s disease

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of Dementia cases.  Some specific symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s are difficulty remembering names and recent events, apathy, and depression.  As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, symptoms include impaired judgment, disorientation, confusion, and behavioral changes.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia, previously known as multi-infarct and occurs after a stroke, is the second most common type of dementia.  Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. A common initial symptom of vascular dementia is the inability to plan steps needed to complete a task. Using brain imaging, a doctor can often detect blood vessel problems implicated in vascular dementia.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies, or “DLB.”

The third most common form of dementia is Dementia with Lewy Bodies, or “DLB.”  The symptoms of DLB are like those of Alzheimer’s but include initial symptoms such as sleep disturbances, well-formed visual hallucinations, and muscle rigidity. Other conditions can cause symptoms of dementia including even some that are reversible like thyroid problems, urinary tract infections, and vitamin deficiency.