Sometimes, the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” are thrown around interchangeably. But there are distinct differences.
Dementia is an umbrella term. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. So Alzheimer’s is dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer’s
To get more technical, dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. When someone is treated for dementia, he or she is treated for the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a specific diagnosis and has its own treatment regimen. Alzheimer’s is not reversible, though other forms of dementia (such as those related to nutritional deficiencies or drug interactions) are.
Alzheimer’s makes up a significant portion—up to 80 percent—of all dementia diagnoses.
Alzheimer’s typically interferes with memory, thinking and behavior. While some other forms of dementia also affect these areas, others may impact motor skills and reasoning. Other dementia diagnoses include Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
With an appropriate diagnosis of the type of dementia, the proper treatment can begin.
New research shows that more people with Alzheimer’s may have an additional form of dementia, such as that caused by vascular changes. The study by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) found that more than half of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s also had another form of dementia. This study was conducted by performing autopsies after the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s had succumbed.
Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation https://www.alzinfo.org/understand-alzheimers/dementia/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Alzheimers-Disease-Information-Page
Medical Daily http://www.medicaldaily.com/alzheimers-vs-dementia-how-they-differ-and-what-do-393669