It’s a broad or umbrella term because it refers to the process of deteriorating brain functioning. Dementia may include impaired thinking processes, memory, reasoning, communication, judgment and behavior.
The main difference is that dementia is a broad term, while Alzheimer’s is a specific disease, which is the most widespread cause of dementia. That’s why they are often used interchangeably, but it’s worth mentioning that dementia has different types and causes. For example, they include frontotemporal degeneration, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington’s and vascular diseases, Lewy body and Parkinson’s dementia.
This condition may be indicated by such common symptoms as:
• Difficulty finding the right word;
• Memory loss;
• Behavioral and emotional changes;
• Poor judgment.
The executive functioning of many patients, including performing and planning different tasks, can become difficult. Their correct orientation to the date, location, time and day may gradually decline. Typically, dementia is progressive, which means that body functioning declines gradually over time, but it may vary considerably according to its causes.
This disease results from the following conditions:
• Different neurological conditions that have a negative impact on cognition;
• Brain damage;
• Levy body disease and some others.
Each of these conditions has unique risk factors and causes, including different lifestyles and genetics. The risk of having dementia is increased with aging, but it’s not a normal outcome of aging.
Almost half of people who are older than 85 have Alzheimer’s, which is number one cause of dementia. In the US, more than 5 million people suffer from this and other types of dementia. This means that this condition is very common, and it affects many people.
If you think that some of your beloved ones have dementia, the first step is arranging an appointment in the hospital for detailed evaluation. In some cases, such reversible conditions as vitamin B deficiency and normal pressure hydrocephalus may cause memory loss and confusion, the symptoms common for dementia. That’s why qualified doctors need to assess patients to determine whether any of these reversible health problems are present and outline an effective treatment plan.
There are different treatments for this condition, and those meds that are approved to treat Alzheimer’s are also prescribed to treat other dementia types. Although some patients report only a few minor benefits, others say that these drugs can temporary improve their cognitive functions and slow down the progression of this disease. Besides, there are other ways that can be used to improve people’s behavior and cognition, including such non-medication treatment options as changing the response of caregivers to patients with dementia, maintaining their daily routine and paying attention to non-verbal communications.
There’s no effective way to prevent this disease. Based on research, such things as regular exercises, maintaining your brain active and sticking to a healthy diet plan can help you decrease a possible risk of having Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.