Blue graphic with a white DNA strand behind human head with red frontal lobe of brain indicating dementia

Dementia or Alzheimer’s? What’s the difference?

We’ve all heard of the terms Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, they are all too prevalent words in the human vocabulary as we begin to talk about aging and signs of cognitive deterioration, but the distinction between the two can sometimes be a difficult subject to understand. They are most common in aging Individuals 65 or older. People with Dementia experience a decrease in cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory and critical thinking.
Alzheimers is a degenerative brain disease in which cells in the brain break down and can impact memory and behavior. While these sound similar, there is a difference between Dementia and Alzehimer’s.

What is Dementia?

People with Dementia experience a progressive decrease in cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory and critical thinking. Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning or other thinking skills. Many different types of dementia exist and many conditions cause it, meaning that Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a result of damage to brain cells that affects peoples’ ability to communicate, which can affect thinking, behavior and feelings.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex brain changes following cell damage.” In addition, Alzheimer’s is actually a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease experience a great deal of difficulty due to confusion and inability to complete thoughts. Alzheimer’s impacts the ability to draw memories together in a complete sequence.

Early onset Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Alzehimer’s is most commonly seen in adults aged 65 years or older, however, it can also impact younger individuals. These individuals may experience Mild Cognitive Impairment early on in life that leads to a full diagnosis of Alzheimer’s later in life. Because it is so common for older men and women to be diagnosed with Alzehimer’s, a younger person with early onset is more likely to be misdiagnosed, therefore leading to a mistreatment and lack of support for the condition. Because of this. it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment and monitor its
progression.

If you are concerned about you or a loved one experiencing any signs of cognitive impairment at any age, visit your trusted CCMH Provider. For more  information about CCMH Silver Lining Geriatric Psychiatric Care, call us today.

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Sources:
Identify Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier: https://www.identifyalz.com/
Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimer_s_dementia
Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers
The Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-
depth/alzheimers/art-20048356