Difference Between Alzheimer’s And Dementia
Dementia is a disease that must be avoided. This condition affects lifestyle, ability to socialize, to daily activities.
The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Alzheimer’s is dementia-related to genetic changes and protein changes in the brain. Meanwhile, vascular dementia is a type of dementia due to disorders in the blood vessels of the brain.
Keep in mind, dementia is different from senile. Senile is a change in the ability to think and remember that usually occurs with age. This change can affect memory, but it is not significant and does not affect someone depending on others.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia caused by damaged nerve cells and connections between nerves in the brain. Based on the changes that occur, there are several types of dementia, namely:
The cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, but genetic changes originating from parents can be made which increase the risk of this disease. In addition to genetic factors, protein abnormalities in the brain can also damage healthy nerve cells in the brain.
Dementia is caused by disorders of blood vessels in the brain. Recurrent stroke is the most common cause of this type of dementia.
Other conditions that cause symptoms of dementia
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, other conditions can cause symptoms of dementia but are temporary. These provisions:
- Metabolic or endocrine disorders.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Subdural hematoma.
- Brain tumour.
- Drug side effects, such as sedatives and pain relievers.
- Lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as lack of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin E, and iron in the body.
- Consumption of heavy metals, pesticides, and alcohol consumption.
There are factors that can increase the risk of dementia, namely age, there is an estimate of dementia in the family, as well as a bad lifestyle, such as unhealthy eating patterns, not exercising regularly, smoking, and alcoholism.
In addition, there are several diseases that also have the potential to cause dementia, including:
- Down’s syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
Symptoms of Dementia
The main symptoms of dementia are memory loss and changes in ways of thinking so that changes in behaviour and speech appear. These symptoms can get worse with time. To be clearer, the following are the stages of symptoms that occur in people with dementia:
At this stage, the ability of the patient’s brain function is still in the normal stage, so there are no visible symptoms.
Disorders that occur at this stage have not affected the daily activities of patients. For example, sufferers find it difficult to carry out various activities at one time, it is difficult to make decisions or solve problems, it is easy to forget activities that have not been long done, and difficulty choosing the right words.
At this stage, sufferers can get lost when passing the usual path, difficulty learning new things, moods appear flat and lack of enthusiasm, as well as changes in personality and decreased ability to socialize.
When entering this stage, sufferers begin to need help from others in carrying out daily activities, such as dressing and bathing. Patients also experience changes in sleep patterns, difficulty in reading and writing, withdrawing from the social environment, hallucinating, irritability, and being rude.
When entered into this stage, a person can be said to experience severe dementia. Dementia at this stage causes patients to not be able to live independently. Sufferers will lose basic abilities, such as walking or sitting, not recognizing family members, and not understanding language.
When to see a doctor
Consultation with a neurologist or psychiatrist should be done if someone has one or more symptoms of dementia, in order to get a further examination.
Dementia is often equated with senility in the elderly because it is both related to memory loss. But if memory loss continues to deteriorate to the point where it is difficult for sufferers to carry out daily activities, dementia checks must be carried out immediately.