KEY POINTS

  • >50 million people globally have dementia
  • 60-80% of dementia patients have Alzheimer's
  • Certain symptoms could help differentiate between the two

First off, dementia is a syndrome and not a disease. Dementia includes a wide range of symptoms affecting mental cognitive tasks such as reasoning and memory. Alzheimer’s disease falls under the umbrella term dementia. There are different kinds of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is one of them.

Dementia isn’t something pertaining to simple memory mishaps alone. Someone with dementia will find it difficult with memory, communication, speech, focus/concentration, reasoning, judgment-making as well as visual perception. Sometimes it can be difficult to make the right diagnosis since several kinds of dementia share some symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common kind of dementia with about 60-80% of dementia patients suffering from it. It is a progressive condition typically affecting individuals above 65 years of age. The condition is characterized by plaque formation which accumulates in the brain, blocking and destroying nerve cells. It might make regular conversations and everyday tasks difficult from time to time.

A doctor will order tests that look at your attention, memory, language, vision and brain images were taken using MRI to diagnose Alzheimer’s, says Healthline.

The symptom which is specific to Alzheimer’s: Difficulty in remembering recent events or conversations

Other symptoms including apathy, disorientation, depression, impaired judgment, confusion, behavioral changes, difficulty in speaking, swallowing, or walking.

Both dementia and Alzheimer's have symptoms including communication impairment, memory impairment and a decline in thinking ability. Some types of dementia also share the same symptoms of Alzheimer's. For example, although Lewy body dementia (LBD) shares Alzheimer's symptoms, those with LBD are more likely to experience hallucinations or sleep disturbances.

While the treatment options for dementia will depend on the cause and type, some of them might overlap with Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Alzheimer’s patients are treated using medications including antipsychotics for behavioral changes, sleep changes, depression and alternative remedies including coconut oil and fish oil.

While Dementia cannot be reversed, several forms of it are entirely treatable. Using the right medications can help manage the condition efficiently. Vascular dementia treatment will focus on preventing the damage to the brain’s blood vessels and stroke prevention strategies. Dementia patients also benefit from several supportive services from health aides and caregivers.