Alzheimer's or Dementia: What's the Difference?
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are related but are not exactly the same. Alzheimer's is a disease and dementia is a general term for decreased cognitive function. While all Alzheimer's patients have dementia symptoms, not all patients with dementia symptoms have Alzheimer's disease.
Although Alzheimer's disease is responsible for almost 80% of all dementia diagnoses, it is not completely understood. Alzheimer's is a buildup of different substances in the brain, tangles of fibers and plaques of protein that destroy nerve cells, gradually blocking signals between them to no longer be connected. Unfortunately, it can't be definitively diagnosedÂ until an autopsy examination of a person's brain takes place after death, but CT scans and MRIs can detect changes caused by Alzheimer's. Symptoms are short term memory loss. confusion, impaired decision-making, problems concentrating, depression, other mood changes, and personality changes
Dementia results from changes in the brain over time, leading to decline in cognitive function, affecting the ability to communicate, recall memories, and perform activities of daily living. There are many underlying causes for dementia, including a degenerative neurological disorder, Parkinson's or Huntington's diseases, or vascular dementia, which is caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain. Language changes, decreased attention and focus, poor judgment, thinking changes or memory decline will result in a dementia diagnosis.
With both Alzheimer's and dementia, a senior will eventually need help with daily living. If your loved one is at that point, contact River Terrace Memory Care and let us help.
River Terrace Memory Care
950 South End Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
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