Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Is There a Difference?

by | Aug 15, 2021 | Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia


 Is it Alzheimer’s or dementia? And what is the difference?

People often talk about Alzheimer’s and dementia as the same thing, but are they?  Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia. But dementia is a term used for all types.


Furthermore, there are actually many different types of dementia. And Alzheimer’s is only one of them. When being diagnosed, there are tests for dementia. But Alzheimer’s like other dementia’s has its own distinct symptoms.

Dementia is similar but different from Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s and dementia are often confused. But the term dementia refers to loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities. . And Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia. Additionally, these symptoms all make it difficult for people to function in their day-to-day life regardless of what type of dementia they have.

Here are a few of the more common types of dementia.


Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

Alzheimer's or Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Well over half of all cases of dementia are caused by Alzheimer’s. It is most common in older people and is defined by brain cells dying.


Dementia With Lewy Bodies- Is this the same as Alzheimer’s?


Also known as Lewy body dementia this dementia has similar symptoms to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  And some of the similarities are shaking or trembling, weakness, and unsteady gait.


The Lewy body refers to protein deposits in nerve cells.  And Lewy Body Dementia can cause hallucinations, disrupted sleep patterns, memory loss, and disorientation.  Additionally, people may get lost, confused, and even faint.


Vascular Dementia

This type of dementia is also quite common. Vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. It becomes more common as you age and can be related to stroke or atherosclerotic disease. Additionally, even small strokes called TIA’s can cause dementia symptoms.

Furthermore, vascular dementia has been known to cause vision problems, confusion, disorientation, and problems concentrating.

Parkinson’s Disease


People in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can often develop dementia.  And the symptoms are usually confusion, depression, memory loss, paranoia, and the inability to speak.


Early signs may be irritability, the inability to perform small, common tasks, and problems with judgment and reasoning.  But there may also be hallucinations, as well.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Alzheimer's or dementia

Frontotemporal dementia is another blanket term used for a few different types of dementia.  And these types are similar in that the disease affects the front and sides of the brain.


Additionally, it can hit people as young as 40 years old. And it may affect language skills and behavior.  Furthermore, this type of dementia may cause mood swings or lack of motivation. And someone with frontotemporal dementia may forget simple words and their meanings.


Mixed Dementia


Mixed dementia refers to someone having more than one type of disease.  And this is the most common type of dementia.  Vascular and Alzheimer’s dementias are commonly found together.


Alzheimer’s disease is one form of dementia.


And It is the most common. The disease causes brain cells to shrink and die. Furthermore, there is no cure. But there are treatments that can slow the symptoms.


Alzheimer’s disease causes a slow progressive decline in mental abilities. Likewise, the early signs of Alzheimer’s are forgetting recent events or activities. People may forget a conversation they have the previous day. Or even forget a conversation a few minutes later.


As the disease progresses, there can be other symptoms. But memory loss is the main symptom. Likewise, people may repeat things multiple times. And forget where they put things, or forget recent conversations.


And as the disease progresses, people may not recognize their family members.  Additionally, it is common to have trouble finding the proper name for objects. A person with Alzheimer’s dementia may not recognize their surroundings.


A person with Alzheimer’s may not be able to make choices or decisions. This could be as simple as wearing the appropriate clothing. Likewise, personal hygiene is often forgotten.


There can also be behavior changes. Mood swings, depression, anger, and lashing out at people. They may not be able to sleep well and can often wander off, disoriented.


Later stages of Alzheimer’s can bring hallucinations, loss of inhibitions, and even aggressive behavior. The ability to reason may completely disappear. It can be very frustrating for the patient and the caregiver.


Some skills with Alzheimer’s are retained. These may be long-term memory, and certain skills like knitting, singing, and even reading. It can be confusing for families as the person may seem like they are coherent.


Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Alzheimer's or Dementia

Alzheimer’s is a disease that falls under the category of dementia. Whereas Alzheimer’s is a disease, dementia is a set of symptoms. There are many types of dementia. And Alzheimer’s is one of them.


Neither Alzheimer’s nor other types of dementia have a cure. Both may be treated with medications to relieve the symptoms.


Dementia is not always fatal, but Alzheimer’s is. Some types of dementia are reversible. But most types are not reversible. Keeping the patient safe and comfortable is the main goal.


Alzheimer’s and dementia are more common with people of advanced age.

We Are Here To Help

At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care we are here to help. We want families to make the best decision for their situation.

Furthermore, the staff at Sycamore Creek Ranch is proactive. That means we are not waiting for a problem to arise. Instead, we are actively engaged with each and every resident. And with only 16 residents we can do that!  Come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help!













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