Jan 11, 2014
Similarities and Differences between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
I recently discovered that my son's father's mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and her sister had been diagnosed with Dementia earlier this past year. I have always believed that these two diseases were the same. But after reading articles on both Alzheimer's disease and Dementia, I realize that, although Alzheimer's disease and Dementia seem similar they differ in causes, symptoms, and treatments. Knowing differences between the two conditions could mean cure,
Both Alzheimer's disease and Dementia are caused by an impairment of the brain. According to “Medicinenet.com” (2014), Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes the brain to break down slowly and can be identified by the patient’s loss of memory and how they reason with people, (para. 1). This generally affects people 65 and older. According to "Alzheimer’s Disease Health Center" (2005-2014), Alzheimer’s is characterized as a group of symptoms caused by various diseases or conditions. Symptoms may vary and in cases, are sometimes treatable. There are several different forms of Dementia, and the most common type of Dementia is Alzheimer’s disease that is not revisable and has no known cure. Other forms of dementia are vascular dementias, Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, Pick disease and Alcohol-related dementia. ("Health-Cares.net", 2005). These forms of Dementia, with the exception of Lewy body dementia, can be controlled by medicine and treatments.
The symptoms of these diseases cannot be discussed until the causes of the two diseases have been identified by a physician. The symptom similarities of Alzheimer's and Dementia are typically the reason most people believe that these two diseases are the same illness. Memory loss is the most common symptoms of the two diseases. Other common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include challenges in planning or solving problems, some Alzheimer's patients can experience a change in the ability to follow and develop a plan or to be able to work with numbers. They may have a problem as simple as to follow a recipe or the ability to keep up with their bills. Another symptom can be the inability to develop a task at home or work that once was normal in their lives (10 early signs of Alzheimer's, 2011). Dementia can be defined as a disease that causes memory loss, a change in personality, a loss in intellectual functions. With Dementia, there are a failure in communication, remembering and problem-solving. These changes can occur fast or slow there is no time frame on these occurrences. Alzheimer's disease and Dementia symptoms may cause patients to forget the simplest of tasks such as, eating, bathing, and remembering people's names. Other behavioral changes, that occur in these two diseases, are becoming child-like or being quickly started (health wise Incorporated, 2011). Aggression is another symptom found in both illnesses. Aggression cannot only be harmful to the patient but can also pose a problem for the caretaker of the patient or their doctor. Depression is known to be mistaken for a symptom of these diseases ("Alzheimer's Disease Health Center", 2005-2014). Symptoms of depression alone cannot determine, however having a list of these symptoms help the doctor find out which tests to take to determine if it is depression or one of the other diseases,
If a patient is found to have either Alzheimer's diseases or Dementia time is of the essence. The faster the patient seeks treatment for these diseases the better their chances are of receiving the correct medicines and treatments for the illnesses. There are several tests that can determine which disease you have. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, there is no particular test that can prove a patient has Alzheimer's. The diagnosis agreements are made after all test workups are done to consider all possible causes. According to