Susan Greenfield's Guide to Differentiate Alzheimer’s and Dementia


What is the difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably as several people think that one means the other. In fact, the difference between the two diseases often causes uncertainty on the behalf of patients, families and caregivers.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are still a question in many ways. This is why the two related diseases are often mixed up in every day conversation and understanding. An expert which comes by the name Baroness Susan Greenfield once said, “Dementia is a brain disease that affects communication and performance of daily activities and Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that specifically affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language.”

Read on to discover more particulars on how the two diseases differ and why there’s still many scientific research needed around these international epidemics.
What is dementia?

Dementia is an common term for a set of symptoms including lessened thinking and memory. It is a term that is often associated with the cognitive deterioration of age. However, issues other than Alzheimer’s can cause dementia. Other common causes of dementia are Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia causing as many as 70% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a very distinct form of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include declined thought, impaired speech, and confusion. Doctors use a diversity of screenings to determine the cause of dementia including blood tests, mental status assessment and brain scans.

What’s the Difference?
When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. This is the same to someone who has a sore throat. Their throat is sore but it is unknown what is causing that certain symptom. It could be allergies, strep throat, or a common cold. Comparably, when someone has dementia they undergo symptoms without being told what is causing those symptoms. Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimer’s is not a reversible disorder.

It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia are actually reversible or temporary. Once a cause of dementia is found, necessary treatment and guidance can start. The best approach to any dementia is engagement, communication and loving care until a proper diagnosis is made.

While the differences between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are clear to families dealing with the diseases, more public awareness is needed to differentiate between the two. The treatment facility of Baroness Susan Greenfield and her team are currently on a mission to search further understanding of what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease which will help to clear any confusion and hopefully lead to better treatments plans and, ultimately, a cure.

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