Alzheimer’s vs Dementia: Is There a Difference?
That is probably one of the most asked questions I’ve heard.
Oft times it is hard to distinguish between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, yet there can be differences.
I decided to weigh in with my thoughts on it. You can read my article here, on Jaquo.
I think one of the best descriptions I read was that dementia is a condition, Alzheimer’s is a disease. It is a terminal disease at that.
Dementia is not necessarily Alzheimer’s
Since dementia includes memory loss that keeps one from performing normal tasks, it can include loss from head injuries and other accidents.
Alzheimer’s is usually associated with aging, though it sadly strikes a small percentage of young people as well. Since it is a terminal disease, it gradually worsens over many years until the victim dies. Death often results from side issues, like pneumonia or infection. An illness that might be relatively minor in a healthy individual may weaken the body past the point of recovery.
In my opinion, most people lose some brain cells as they age. Forgetfulness is more common, as is a lessening ability to multi-task as we age. While the foods we eat and exercise can influence new brain cell growth, it isn’t unexpected to have some loss. That would be a form of dementia. It doesn’t necessarily go forward into Alzheimer’s disease.
I’m not a scientist or a doctor. Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and separately with dementia too, it is just what I have seen. Feel free to let me know what you think too.