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The Differences between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on September 7, 2015

Many people think Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are interchangeable terms, but even though their diagnoses are related, they are not the same thing. Dementia is a brain disorder affecting communication and the ability to perform everyday activities, while Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia affecting the parts of the brain that control memory, thought, and language. The experienced staff at Home Care Assistance Phoenix suggests you keep reading to learn more about their differences.

What is Dementia?

Several symptoms fall under the umbrella term of dementia, including impaired thinking and memory. Dementia is the disorder most often associated with age-related cognitive decline. However, it is not a normal part of the aging process. Alzheimer’s is not the only disease that can cause dementia. Other diseases, such asCreutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’scan also cause dementia symptoms. Doctors use several tests to determine the cause of dementia, including mental status evaluations, blood tests, and brain scans.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for up to 70 percent of dementia cases. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include impaired speech, confusion, and difficulty with memory. Unlike some causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s cannot be reversed. It is a degenerative disease with no current cure. Some dementia causes, such as drug interactions or vitamin deficiencies, are temporary and can be reversed with the right treatment.

In many cases, the causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s are unknown or unclear. Until a doctor makes an official diagnosis, the best treatmentfor your loved one should include communication, engagement, and patience. If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, he or she may benefit from Alzheimer’s or dementia care in Phoenix from Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers can work with your loved one to create a comprehensive care plan that may include personal care, household chores, and transportation. For more information, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 602.388.1085 and schedule a free in-home consultation.