Neurological disorders are the diseases that affect the nervous system, brain and spine. There are more than 600 diverse types of neurological disorders like Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy and several others. These disorders are among the leading cause of disability for older adults, and hence, it is essential the neurological disorders treatment be done in time to increase the lifespan.
With the growing number of cases every year and the lack of awareness about neurological disorders, it is crucial to know about these conditions for timely diagnosis and treatment. Alzheimer disease is one of the causes of Dementia. Even though these two terms are commonly used interchangeably, there is much difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
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What is Dementia?
Dementia is a group of syndromes that affect the cognitive mental tasks such as reasoning and memory. It affects how the patient thinks and interacts with others which cause a change in their personality. The person with dementia may have difficulty carrying out tasks independently or perform routine activities. When suffering from more than one type of dementia, the condition is known as “Mixed Dementia“.
Symptoms of Dementia
Most people overlook the early signs of dementia as they are often mild and begin with episodes of forgetfulness. The most common symptoms of dementia are:
- Changes in mood
- Subtle-short term memory loss
- Trouble keeping track of time
Causes of Dementia
The exact known cause of Dementia is still unknown, but it occurs due to the damage caused to the brain cells. Since dementia is of several types, each case of dementia causes damage to a different set of brain cells. The following can cause dementia:
- Vascular diseases
- Infections, such as HIV
- Chronic drug use
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of progressive dementia. Here, dementia is an umbrella term where Alzheimer’s disease can fall under. It is a chronic, terminal progressive brain disorder having no known cause. Alzheimer’s disease worsens with time and leads to confusion, memory loss, personality changes, impaired judgement, communication problems, and disorientation.
Alzheimer’s happens when plaque and tangles build up inside the brain to block the nerve signals and destroy nerve cells. This disease roughly accounts for 50-70% of dementia cases.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
People with Alzheimer’s disease often have difficulty organising their thoughts with increasing forgetfulness as the disease progresses. The following changes in the brain are associated with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Changes in personality and behaviour
- Planning routine tasks
- Making judgements and taking decisions
- Thinking and reasoning
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Even after various studies, the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. Doctors think it is caused by a variety of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. However, only around 5 percent of cases are linked with genetic factors. Alzheimer’s disease is known to cause damage to the brain cells which destroys the connection between them causing nerve damage. However, Plaques (clumps of beta-amyloid protein) and Tangles (internal support and transport system) are known abnormalities that cause Alzheimer’s disease.
In a Nutshell
Dementia can be of around 200 types, so it does not mean if someone has dementia they will have Alzheimer’s disease as well. Alzheimer’s is a disease whereas dementia is a collection of symptoms that occur when the brain cells stop working properly. If someone has dementia, yes, it can cause Alzheimer’s disease in time. Hence, it is important to get treatment for Dementia at the best neurology hospital in Delhi like Max Healthcare as a measure of precaution against Alzheimer’s disease.