In the medical world, the terms “Alzheimer’s” and “dementia” are often thrown around, often interchangeably. However, they refer to two different things – one of them being more a category, the other being a specific disease.
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While many of the symptoms – including memory loss and confusion – can occur in dementia diseases as well as Alzheimer’s, there are some differences. Knowing what they are can help doctors properly diagnose the problem and administer any available treatments. Here are 12 ways to differentiate between dementia and Alzheimer’s…
Dementia Isn’t a Disease
According to Healthline, dementia is a syndrome, unlike its counterpart Alzheimer’s, which is a disease. A syndrome, notes the source, is when a group of symptoms doesn’t lead to a specific diagnosis. “Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication abilities,” notes the source.
The site acknowledges that symptoms can “overlap,” but it’s important to treat them as separate entities to best address them medically and otherwise. Both young and elderly people can develop either dementia or Alzheimer’s (although the latter is much common in seniors – more on that later).