What is Dementia? Alzheimer's Disease vs Dementia

What is Dementia? Alzheimer's Disease vs Dementia

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Dementia is not a disease in itself, it is a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain (like Alzheimer’s Disease).  This article provides an overview of dementia and the most common causes of dementia.
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Dementia is not a disease in itself, it is a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain (like Alzheimer’s Disease). Common dementia symptoms may include memory loss, communication problems, mood changes and poor judgement.

Dementia vs Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is the symptom and Alzheimer’s Disease is the cause of this symptom.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Disorders that cause dementia:

There are more than 100 different disorders causing dementia. The most common are:

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is a degenerative brain disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells.
  • It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around 50-70% of cases of dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease is characterised by loss of memory, lapses of judgement, reduced language skills, personality changes and other behavioural changes.
  • Occurring most often in the elderly population, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years after the age of 65.

Vascular Dementia

  • Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, usually from a stroke or series of strokes.
  • Depending on the severity, vascular dementia can occur gradually or suddenly. It is considered to be the second most common cause of dementia account for 20% of cases.
  • Symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, poor concentration, mood changes, dizziness, balance problems.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

  • Lewy Body Dementia is caused by abnormal proteins called Lewy Bodies that develop inside the nerve cells.
  • This disease is similar to Alzheimer’s Disease and is the third most common cause of dementia accounting for 15% of cases.
  • An estimated 30% of people with Alzheimer's also have Lewy bodies.
  • Symptoms may include lethargy, speech problems, hallucinations and depression.

Fronto-temporal Dementia

  • Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage focused in the front and side regions of the brain - the frontal and/or temporal lobes. These areas are responsible for our behaviour, emotional responses and language skills.
  • Personality and behaviour changes are the first signs.

Mixed Dementia

  • Mixed dementia is a condition in which Alzheimer's disease and another form of dementia, most commonly vascular dementia, occur at the same time.
  • Symptoms are often similar to and sometimes even indistinguishable from those of Alzheimer's Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease

  • Many people with Parkinson's disease go on to develop dementia in the later stages of the disease.
  • Parkinson’s Disease is a Lewy Bodies disorder.
  • Symptoms include changes in memory, concentration and judgement.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, degenerative and rapidly fatal brain disorder.
  • Caused by prion protein in the brain.
  • Symptoms include loss of memory and coordination and behaviour changes.

Dementia Statistics (2021):

  • It is estimated that around 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia.
  • This number projected to reach 82 million by 2030 and 152 million by 2050.
  • Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-70% of cases.
  • Dementia primarily affects older adults, with the risk increasing significantly with age. However, it is not a normal part of aging.

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Rose Weel 2nd Mar 2017
Rose Weel is my name, I live in USA. I want to say to the whole world how my husband was cured of his Alzheimer’s disease. Brothers and Sisters, my husband is 78 years old. He is a retired US Army. He fought so many wars, and had encounter with so many dangerous diseases. Before he embarked on his last peace mission to Iraq they were administered injections that will enable them carry out their duties effectively. So they went to the battle field where he lost so many of his colleagues and also he was shot on his throat but bullets don’t have much effect on him. So after the battle he survived it and returned back to USA off course he was rewarded heavily by the government, and that lead to his retirement. But after his retirement, he began to behave funny like forgetting all he did in the past, and sometimes don’t recognize me his wife quickly. I took him to Military hospital, and the doctor said some king of liquid in his body is causing him so many reactions, and this is affecting his brain to cut the long story short, after much diagnoses using EEG, and also the test of PROTEIN 14-3-3 all pointing out to the fact that his brain has malfunction. So he was giving medicines but his condition was still becoming worse even while taking the medicines administered. So we went back to the military hospital, and he was finally diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease and this the doctor said have no cure. So his conditions began to get worst by the day. I cried out for help, but the government only gave us financial support. I all the time surf the web looking for possible cure until I ran into a blog where a man named James Watt gave testimony on how his cousin was cured of CJD by an herbal doctor called Doctor Uwadia Amenifo. In his testimony he imputed the contact detail of the herbalist. So I quickly copied out the contact details of Uwadia, and I contacted him immediately and explained to him what my husband is going through. He encouraged me and promised me that surly he will cure my husband, so after all necessary arrangement was made; he prepared the herbal medicine, and shipped it to me in USA, so I followed his instructions, and gave the medicine to my husband. Behold just like a magic in my eyes my husband was responding positively to the medicine and in just less than 3 weeks I started giving him the medicine, he was very okay, and in less than 7 weeks my husband was totally curd, and as I speak to you now my husband is totally cured, and he is now very okay, and in good health. So please all here shall help me say a big thanks to Doctor Uwadia Amenifo for helping me cure my husband of his Alzheimer’s disease. Please if you need Doctor Uwadia’s contact details, here is it. Email ([email protected]) and his number is (+2349052015874). God bless all.
Tracey Head 12th Dec 2016
My Dad has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, he is now 79.
He had a mild stroke at the age of 58.
Thank you for this information, it makes sense to me now.
Pam 22nd Sep 2015 Lifestyle + Leisure Coordinator
There is also dementia caused by - huntington's disease, Korsikoff's (check spelling) or acquired dementia such as brain damage... which some toxins can cause.
Joanne 15th Sep 2015 lifestyle coordinator
Great information ,thank-you.
Astrid 3rd Mar 2015 Lifestyle Co-ordinator
Another rare type of dementia not mentioned in your article is Posterior Cortical Atrophy where people experience decline in processing visual information and therefore progressively lose the ability to interpret what they see. It results in nonrecognition of objects, problems with spatial awareness, depth perception, judging distance as well as problems with speech and thought. The Australian Alzheimers Association have very good fact sheets available on their website for alot of the specific types of dementia; well worth the look.
Joanne 3rd Mar 2015 Leisure and Lifestyle Co ordinator
the Uni of Tasmania course is brilliant....I have done it and am thinking of doing further studies.

Cheers Jo
anne 17th Nov 2014 Recreational Activities Officer
I'm in my second semester of the Bachelor of Dementia care and it is proving to be wonderful. Lots of hard work but definately worth it. There is a course called "MOOC" which is a self paced introduction to the course and would be a great start for anyone looking at doing it.

Maria 3rd Sep 2014 Recreation therapist
this is very informative,thanks
Joanne 1st Sep 2014 Leisure and Lifestyle Co ordinator
Rosalinda, I googled the UT and they will put you on their list and inform you when the next course is to be run...cheers Jo
Rosalinda 25th Aug 2014 Social worker
Hi Mary

Please give me details of the course run by UT... hope it's open through the year.

Mary 28th Apr 2014 Diversional therapist
If any one is interested there is a very good course run by the university of Tasmania. Its a free on line course and very informative and interesting.
Kerry 7th Dec 2013 Recreational Coordinater
Great information! Thank you.
Even though we have had this information through training, I find this information very rewarding to read again.
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