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Understanding how dementia differs from Alzheimer’s

Understanding how dementia differs from Alzheimer’s

As people get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember things. For most elderly individuals, it is an unfortunate fact of aging. In recent years, the term senility, which once referred to difficulties with cognizance, has now been replaced with the term dementia. The problem, however, is that now dementia is too often confused with conditions such as Alzheimer’s. In reality, dementia is merely a symptom of Alzheimer’s and other diseases associated with the brain.

“A good analogy to the term dementia is ‘fever,’” explained the editors at AlzheimersReadingRoom.com. “Fever refers to an elevated temperature, indicating that a person is sick. But it does not give any information about what is causing the sickness. In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties. Dementia is not a disease; it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease.”

The editors at AlzheimersReadingRoom.com stressed, however, that although Alzheimer’s as well as dementia are common, they are not normal. “If someone has dementia (due to whatever underlying cause), it represents an important problem in need of appropriate diagnosis and treatment by a well-trained healthcare provider who specializes in degenerative diseases,” they explained.

Dementia can emerge in patients who have Alzheimer’s, but it can also show up in situations where an individual has a thyroid condition or a vitamin deficiency. Both of these cases are examples of an instance where dementia can be reversed – as long as its causes are properly diagnosed.

If you have questions about dementia or Alzheimer’s, don’t hesitate to talk to one of the Freedom Home Care caregivers. They have been trained to care for their patients according to their specific diagnoses and are always more than happy to talk.

 

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