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How Are Alzheimer’s And Dementia Different?

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This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

There are many similarities in the medical ailments dementia and Alzheimer's disease. As a result, people commonly confuse the two disorders. The simplest approach to tell them apart is to think of dementia as a catch-all phrase for all forms of cognitive decline that result in memory loss and confusion.

The most frequent form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. However, the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer's disease are distinct from those of other kinds of dementia.

Here, we'll look at how to tell Alzheimer's disease apart from other forms of dementia, as well as why doing so is so important. Each disorder's symptoms are described, as well as the most effective methods of therapy.

What Are The Symptoms?

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Many of the symptoms of dementia can be found in Alzheimer's disease. Dementia comes in many varieties, each with distinct symptoms and characteristics.

It is possible to tell Alzheimer's disease apart from other types of dementia if you are familiar with the basic symptoms of dementia and the specific symptoms of the disease.

Dementia

  • A habit of forgetting things.
  • The inability to carry out routine duties
  • Changes in behavior

Alzheimer's

  • Diminished short-term memory
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Changes in behavior

How Are They Diagnosed?

Dementia

It is the primary emphasis of dementia diagnosis to determine why a person is experiencing dementia symptoms. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other dementia-causing illnesses will be made by your doctor.

Physical and medical tests are commonly used in the diagnostic process. During the examination, your doctor will check through your medical and family history in great detail.

Your doctor may also discover that your dementia symptoms are caused by more than one condition in some cases. Stop by this page to learn more about the various causes of dementia or Alzheimer’s and how to cope with a diagnosis.

Alzheimer's

When determining what is causing a person's dementia symptoms, an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis is often made. A blood test for beta-amyloid levels can definitively diagnose Alzheimer's disease for medical professionals.

A molecule called beta-amyloid has been identified to accumulate improperly in the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease worsen over time because it is a progressive condition.

A person's life expectancy can be extended if the disease is diagnosed and treated early.

How Are They Treated?

Dementia

The FDA has approved certain drugs that have been shown to improve cognitive function as a treatment for dementia. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are among them.

Combining both drugs may be necessary in extremely severe situations.With caution, medicines for other severe behavioral or sleep disorders may also be recommended.

Alzheimer’s

As far as we know, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, which is a degenerative and ultimately fatal condition. Treatment alternatives exist that might lessen the severity of symptoms while also enhancing a person's ability to operate normally.

Alzheimer's disease symptoms can be addressed with the following FDA-approved medications:

  • As a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, cholinesterase inhibitors have been shown to reduce symptoms of cognitive decline and dementia. Exelon (rivastigmine), Aricept (donepezil), and Razadyne are a few examples of this class (galantamine)
  • As amyloid proteins have been observed to build up in the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers, Aduhelm (anti-amyloid antibody aducanumab) works by removing them.
  • There are many medications for Alzheimer's disease that can help alleviate symptoms, including Namenda (memantine). A chemical messenger known as glutamate is suspected to play a role in controlling its negative effects on the brain, and this may be how it works.
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