Ever wonder what the difference is between dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia
First off, Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia. Dementias can be arranged into two main types—Alzheimer's or non-Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's-type dementia is characterized by loss of memory loss in addition to other loss of brain functionality, like problems with language (aphasia); speech muscle movement problems (tongue, lips, and jaw; apraxia); or visual, perception, or other problems recognizing speech or the names of objects (agnosias).
See below to get an idea of the different types of dementias.
Subcortical Vascular Dementia aka Binswanger's disease
Subcortical vascular dementia, also called Binswanger's disease, is caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the brain resulting from the thickening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of arteries that supply blood to the subcortical areas of the brain. Atherosclerosis (commonly known as "hardening of the arteries") is a systemic process that affects blood vessels throughout the body. It begins late in the fourth decade of life and increases in severity with age. As the arteries become more and more narrowed, the blood supplied by those arteries decreases and brain tissue dies. Symptoms and more.
Frontotemporal Dementia aka pick's disease
Frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for a group of uncommon brain disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are generally associated with personality, behavior, and language.
In frontotemporal dementia, portions of these lobes shrink (atrophy). Signs and symptoms vary, depending on which part of the brain is affected. Some people with frontotemporal dementia have dramatic changes in their personality and become socially inappropriate, impulsive, or emotionally indifferent, while others lose the ability to use language properly.
Frontotemporal dementia is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem or as Alzheimer's disease. But frontotemporal dementia tends to occur at a younger age than does Alzheimer's disease. Frontotemporal dementia often begins between the ages of 40 and 65. Symptoms and more.
Stroke-Related Dementia aka Vascular Dementia
People who have had a stroke have a far greater risk of developing dementia than people who have not had a stroke. About 1 in 4 people who have had a stroke will go on to develop signs of dementia.
Vascular dementia is most common in older people, who are more likely than younger people to have vascular diseases. It is more common in men than in women. Symptoms and more.
Parkinson's Disease Dementia
Parkinson’s disease dementia is a decline in thinking and reasoning that develops in many people living with Parkinson’s at least a year after diagnosis. The brain changes caused by Parkinson’s disease begin in a region that plays a key role in movement, leading to early symptoms that include tremors and shakiness, muscle stiffness, a shuffling step, stooped posture, difficulty initiating movement, and lack of facial expression. As brain changes caused by Parkinson’s gradually spread, they often begin to affect mental functions, including memory and the ability to pay attention, make sound judgments, and plan the steps needed to complete a task. Symptoms and more.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease aka CJD, Subacute Sponjiform Encephalopathy
Creutzfeldt-Jakob (KROITS-felt YAH-kobe) disease is a rare degenerative brain disorder that leads to dementia and, ultimately, death. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease symptoms can be similar to those of other dementia-like brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. But Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease usually progresses much more rapidly. Symptoms and more.
Alcohol is linked to the development of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a brain disorder resulting from thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Also rare, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is actually a two-stage brain disorder in which Karsakoff syndrome (also known as Korsakoff psychosis) develops due to permanent brain damage as symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy wane. Symptoms and more.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory, and movement (motor control).
Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy body dementia might have visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, walking difficulty, and tremors. Symptoms and more.
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