Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used together, but they are different conditions. While the latter is a generic phrase used to describe symptoms that affect memory, daily functioning, and communication skills, the former is the most prevalent. Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates with time and has an impact on memory, language, and thinking abilities.
While both conditions are related to loss of memory, they can affect people of all ages with the risks increase with age. Although the symptoms of the two conditions may be similar, it is important to understand the difference between the two for proper management and treatment.
Best Multispecialty Neurology Practice in the Bay area
If you are in the Bay area and looking for treating your memory problems, South Valley Neurology is the premier multispecialty neurology practice that provides competent, comprehensive, and compassionate care. They aim to provide the best service through the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of patients with neurological disorders.
They have a highly experienced and dedicated team of experts who are skilled in treating migraines, Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, and seizure disorders. They strive to create long-lasting relationships with their patients taking care of their unique needs and providing the highest level of care.
What is Dementia?
This is a condition and not a disease that affects cognitive functions like thinking and reasoning. Common symptoms are:
- Decline in memory
- Poor thinking power
- Changes in behavior and language
- Reduced focus and attention
- Poor reasoning skills
Early signs of forgetfulness can go unnoticed as the symptoms are mild. Patients have problems telling the time and frequently get lost in familiar settings. As the situation progresses, forgetfulness and confusion can grow with obvious signs like:
- Repetitive questions
- Having poor hygiene
- Unable to make decisions
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive brain illness with no known cure or exact cause. It can affect young people too, but usually, symptoms begin after the age of 65 years.
How does it affect the brain?
In people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the brain cells die and connections between brain cells may deteriorate. Plaques and tangles, and abnormal protein gets deposited in the brain, which is one of the major symptoms.
Plaques are protein clusters that can obstruct the connection between neurons. Proteins that twist together cause tangles which kill healthy brain cells. In advanced conditions, the brain starts showing significant shrinkage.
The symptoms are:
- Unable to remember current events or conversations
- Behavioral changes
- Difficulty in walking, speaking and swallowing.
Memory loss symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment, medication, and therapy. However, there is no way to prevent or slow down the symptoms of memory issues due to Vascular or Parkinson’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is a fatal condition that has no known cure with different stages lasting for a different amount of time. People over 65 years of age live 4 to 8 years on average after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while some can even live for 20 years.
Talk to a good neurologist if you see early symptoms of memory loss so that the treatment can help you better understand in controlling the situation.