What Are the Differences Between Alzheimer and Other Types of Dementia?

=> Dementia Knows a Variety Of Manifestations

There are a number of types of Dementia. They all involve cognitive decline that impacts daily living.

More than fifty conditions concern Dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia are the most common types of dementia. It is important to identify the precise type of dementia in order to optimize treatment.

=> Alzheimer’s Disease

The most common form of dementia is no doubt Alzheimer’s Disease. It accounts for two-thirds of all people diagnosed with dementia.

There are some medications that can delay the onset of more debilitating symptoms. So you should consult your doctor if you suspect Alzheimer’s Disease on yourself or your beloved-one. They can advice you to make a comprehensive diagnosis and whether treatment with this medication is useful.

The earlier the diagnosis is made the more possibilities to prolong independence and it is the first step towards treatment, and living an optimal way of life.

=> Vascular dementia

The cause of Vascular Dementia lies in an obstructed blood supply mainly as a result of a series of small strokes. A sudden onset of symptoms are indicative for this condition.

Vascular dementia has a severe impact on memory and cognitive functioning. However, early treatment can limit the consequences.

=> A Number of Other Forms Of Dementia

In alphabetical order 5 other types of dementia you sometimes hear about.

– Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Is characterized by rapidly progressive dementia. Initially, individuals experience problems with muscular coordination; personality changes, including impaired memory, judgment, and thinking; and impaired vision. People with the disease also may experience insomnia, depression, or unusual sensations.

– Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s is an inherited, degenerative disease. The disease causes involuntary movement, cognitive and psychiatric disorders with a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms and usually begins during mid-life.
Which symptoms appear first varies greatly from one to another affected person. Some disorders appear to be more dominant or have a greater effect on functional ability.

– Lewy Body Disease
This disease causes symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s Disease. Individuals with Lewy Body Disease experience mental decline(reduced alertness and lowered attention span); Recurrent visual hallucinations(usually related to people or animals) or depression; Increasing problems handling the tasks of daily living; Repeated falls and sleep disturbances (insomnia and acting out dreams); Fluctuations in autonomic processes(blood pressure, body temperature, urinary difficulties, constipation, and difficulty swallowing).

– Parkinson’s Dementia
Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. The most common symptoms are tremor (shaking or trembling) of the hands, arms, jaw, and face; stiffness of the trunk and limbs; slowness of movement; and loss of balance and coordination. Other symptoms include shuffling, speaking difficulties, (or speaking very softly), facial masking (expressionless, mask-like face), swallowing problems, and stooped posture.
The symptoms worsen gradually. In later stages of Parkinson’s Disease, some patients develop dementia.

– Pick’s Disease
Pick’s Disease affects personality, orientation and behavior. Pick’s Disease is a rare and permanent form of dementia that is similar to Alzheimer’s Disease, except that it tends to affect only certain areas of the brain.It may be more common in women and occurs at an early age.

People with Pick’s Disease tend to behave the wrong way in different social settings. The changes in behavior continue to get worse and are often one of the most disturbing symptoms of the disease. Some patients will have difficulty with language (trouble finding or understanding words or writing).

The early personality changes can help doctors tell Pick’s Disease apart from Alzheimer’s. Memory loss is often the main, and earliest, symptom of Alzheimer’s.

=> Symptoms of Early Dementia

Summarized early dementia, also known as mild cognitive impairment, is characterized by problems with memory, language, or other cognitive functions. People with mild cognitive impairment are still able to function in their daily lives independent of others.

Sometimes mild cognitive impairment is caused by other affections (like stress or more severe burn-out). In those cases people eventually even return to normal after some time. For others developing dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the possibilities.

=> Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment include:

– Frequently losing or misplacing things
– Frequently forgetting conversations, appointments, or events
– Difficulty remembering the names of new acquaintances
– Difficulty following the flow of a conversation

=> What Do You Do?

If You Suspect Dementia: Just Wait and See?

If you fear to have developed dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is critical to seek medical attention.

Sometimes the symptoms you have are quite similar to those of a dementia while the cause is different. For example people with stress or more severe burn-out can present symptoms as if they suffer from any kind of dementia. With a proper diagnosis the cause in that case must be treated and the symptoms will disappear.

That’s a good reason to take action instead of to Just Wait and See. There are more conditions that should be treated immediately. Think of stroke, drug interactions, tumors, and seizures.

And because there are much more kinds of dementia than only Alzheimer’s and in a couple of these cases some treatment is available it is always the best you can do to consult your doctor.

=> What To Do Before in Combination With Consulting Your Doctor

– As said before, consult your doctor as soon as possible…

– Write down all of your symptoms and thoughts about it. Also ask your relatives to tell you what strikes them on changes in your behavior.

– Schedule regular follow-up visits with your doctor to keep record of the progress of your symptoms.

– Read as much as you can about dementia. There are all kinds of books and also the Internet is a good source for your information.
With the right information you can organize your life in a way to make the optimum of it for as long as possible.

Don’t hide away and keep in contact with your friends and loved-ones. A man is asocial being and staying in contact will be a good way to retain your quality of life.

Dick Harkes was confronted with Alzheimer’s Disease when his father was diagnosed with this awful ailment. Then he started collecting information about Alzheimer’s. He likes to share this information with everybody. Please visit Alzheimer’s and Dementia . Or start at his homepage: All About Alzheimer’s Disease.
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