Alzheimer Diseases and Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not similar. Dementia is a terminology used to outlay signs and symptoms that affect individuals mind, operations from day to day duties. Alzheimer’s usually becomes worse with time and impact memory, thought and language. The risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s increases as an individual gets older although even the younger people are at a risk of developing the conditions (Jiska 32). Despite symptoms similarities between the Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, it is necessary to distinguish them to ensure effective management and treatment.
Dementia is a collection of symptoms which interferes with mental functions which deal with tasks such a memory and reasoning. It occurs due to various conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (Kim & Hyun 86). People may also be affected by mixed Dementia which is more than one type of Dementia. Such people have many factors which may lead to Dementia.
Symptoms of Dementia
Early symptoms of Dementia are hardly noticeable as they often start from simple incidents of forgetting material things or other individuals for instance. People with Dementia tend to behave in abnormal ways such as losing their way in known places. Most observed signs of Dementia are repetitious questions, poor decision making and inadequate hygiene. As time progresses, people with Dementia tend to have no ability to take care of themselves and they struggle a lot in their day to day activities (Mace, Nancy & Peter 78). The conduct of this people also continues to change and they can become depressed and aggressive.
Cause of Dementia
People become more susceptible to Dementia as they grow old. Usually, it happens once particular brain cells have been destroyed. Factors that may lead to Dementia are degenerating diseases like Alzheimer’s (Mielke, Michelle, Vemuni & Walter 37). Every cause of Dementia destroys a varying group of brains.
Alzheimer’s disease is a continuous ailment of the brain which slowly leads to deterioration in an individual’s ability to remember and part of the mental function that deals with logic. The fact of its cause is not yet discovered and it has no cure. Even though young people do suffer from Alzheimer’s the symptoms start after the age of sixty. Younger people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to live for many more years compared to older people.
Effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain
Harm to the brain starts years before the symptoms start to show. The bonds within the cells are broken, hence they die. In progressive incidences, brains demonstrate a major loss whereby, individuals begin to think less than they used to. While a person is alive it’s impossible to diagnose Alzheimer’s correctly. The diagnosis may only be accurate if the brain is carefully observed under a microscope.
Differences between Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Differences based on symptoms
Alzheimer’s and Dementia symptoms can overlap but there can still be some differences. Alzheimer’s symptoms are; difficulty in remembering events or conversations that happened a short while ago, apathy, depression, impaired judgement, disorientation, and confusion. The initial symptoms of the people suffering from Dementia are visual hallucinations, difficulty in balance and sleep disturbances (Takeda, Shuko, Sato & Morishita 40). They are also likely to experience involuntary movement because of Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease.
Differences based on treatment
In Dementia, the type and the cause of Dementia will play an important role in determining its treatment. In a few incidences, administering medication on the factors that lead to Dementia can be helpful. The factors that are more likely to react to medication are drugs, hypoglycaemia, tumours and metabolic disorders (Taylor, David, Carol & Kapur 76). Many forms of Dementia are treatable, with proper medication it can be managed while in Alzheimer’s no cure is available yet but there are options that are helpful in managing the symptoms of this disease and they include administration of medicine for memory loss which include cholinesterase inhibitors donepezil, rivastigmine and memantine, other alternative treatments for boosting brain function can be administered, and also administering medicines for behavioural changes and also depression.
Differences based on outlook for people with Dementia versus people with Alzheimer’s
The outlook for people with Dementia relies fully on the direct cause of Dementia. Medication is available to make Dementia symptoms manageable but currently, there is no way to stop or slow down related dementia. A few types of dementia are reversible but almost all types of dementia are irreversible and will cause a lot of impairment over time. While in the case of Alzheimer’s it is a fatal illness and it has got no cure it has three stages and the length of time in each stage varies people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has a lifespan of approximately four to eight years although a few people can for up to twenty years after diagnosis.
Consequences of Dementia and Alzheimer’s for the patient
Consequences of Dementia on patient
- Patients have retarded memory which makes it difficult for them to remember things such as their telephone numbers.
- They are in most cases confused and are not organised which leads to poor performance.
- They also have poor concentration, attention and they are easily distracted.
- Dementia patients are also not able to think clearly or solving problems.
- They also face a lot of difficulty in completing day to day tasks of self-standing living.
- They also face challenges following social cues, and they lack social skills.
- Dementia patients also face difficulty in handling and managing money.
- They also face challenges in learning new things.
- Knowing what to do next most especially when it is out of routine is also a challenge.
- They also face changes in personality, depression and loss of motivation.
Consequences of Alzheimer’s in patients
- Alzheimer’s patients are incapable to undertake or complete tasks without help.
- They also face severe changes in personality and have a tendency to become irritable.
- They also face challenges from deterioration from language and generally in communication.
- They also face withdrawal from their family members and loved ones.
- They may also suffer from permanent memory loss.
- They also suffer from confusion and forgetfulness to people and places that were once familiar.
In concussion dementia and Alzheimer’s have a lot of similarities and can cause a lot of confusion when it comes to effective treatment and management. Specialists should be careful to avoid administering the wrong medication to patients as a result of confusion derived from the patient’s symptoms. People should also see a doctor in case they feel that they suffer from the symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s as early treatment can help them manage the situation easily which in return may enable them to have a long lifespan. Healthcare providers should carry out new research in regard to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to ensure that they have adequate knowledge. Enough information will enable specialists to offer quality services to their patients.
Alzheimer’s, Association. “2015 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures.” Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 11.3 (2015): 332.
Cohen-Mansfield, Jiska. “Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” (2015): 32.
Kim, Hyun. “Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” Ann Psychiatry Ment Health 4.7 (2016): 1086.
Mace, Nancy L., and Peter V. Rabins. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss. JHU Press, (2017): 778
Mielke, Michelle M., Prashanthi Vemuri, and Walter A. Rocca. “Clinical epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease: assessing sex and gender differences.” Clinical epidemiology 6 (2014): 37.
Takeda, Shuko, Naoyuki Sato, and Ryuichi Morishita. “Systemic inflammation, blood-brain barrier vulnerability and cognitive/non-cognitive symptoms in Alzheimer disease: relevance to pathogenesis and therapy.” Frontiers in ageing neuroscience 6 (2014): 404
Taylor, David, Carol Paton, and Shitij Kapur. The Maudsley prescribing guidelines in psychiatry. John Wiley & Sons, 2015: 976