Differences Between Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Differences Between Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Dementia & Alzheimer's: They’re similar but not the same

The terms dementia and Alzheimer’s are not interchangeable. The physical ailments the conditions cause (memory loss in particular) may seem similar. However the terms differ and are worth noting.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory. It can also effect other thinking skills enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia”. The error reflects the widespread, incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.

Alzheimer’s, however (also called Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT) or simply Alzheimer’s) is a disease. It is the most common cause of dementia. The disease produces physical change in the brain. There is shrinking in some areas of the brain and widening in the others. This causes connections inside the brain to break and disrupt the brain’s electrical signals. Dementia can also be caused by a variety of other factors, but Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of the cases.

Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common type. However, there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia. Some of these are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia Information

For in-depth information about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, visit diffen.com and alz.org.

If you’re a caregiver for a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there are a great number of senior living options available to help, including senior residences with Alzheimer’s Specialty services.

To begin your search for senior living residences, visit alternativesforseniors.com. There you can easily find a senior apartment, independent-living, assisted-living, alzheimer’s specialty or other continuing-care community where seniors can remain safe and in great care.


Blog Date: August 15, 2013

Writer: Ryan Allen