World Alzheimer’s Day 2023: Are Alzheimer’s and dementia the same health conditions?


World Alzheimer’s Day 2023: World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated every year around the world to spread awareness about this brain disorder and support people suffering from it. The theme of World Alzheimer’s Day 2023 is “Never Too Early Never Too Late” which focuses on the importance of early detection, diagnosis and prevention of this brain disease.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that is common in older people and is caused by changes in the brain that cause certain proteins to accumulate. When we talk about Alzheimer’s, we often hear dementia along with it, which adds to the confusion as to whether Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same or different health conditions.

Watch the video below to know about the causes and symptoms of dementia:

Throwing light on this, Dr Vineet Banga, Associate Director of Neurology and Head-Neurovascular Interventions Center for Neuroscience, BLK Max Super Specialty Hospital That said, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are related but distinct conditions. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia.

Are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same?

Dr. Banga says dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms, including memory loss, cognitive decline and impaired daily functioning. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for approximately 60–70% of cases.

Also read: World Alzheimer’s Day 2023: 5 warning signs of this brain disorder that you should not ignore

Alzheimer’s and dementia are brain disorders (Image credit: Canva)

Reason

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by abnormal protein deposits in the brain, such as beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Other forms of dementia, such as vascular dementia or frontotemporal dementia, have different underlying causes, such as blood vessel damage or abnormal protein accumulation.

symptoms

While both Alzheimer’s and dementia have some common symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with daily tasks, the specific symptoms and their progression may vary between different types of dementia. For example, frontotemporal dementia often begins with changes in personality and behavior.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia (Image credit: Canva)

Also read: World Alzheimer’s Day 2022: From depression to obesity, know the risk factors of the disease

Treatment

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but some medications can temporarily reduce symptoms. Treatment of dementia depends on its underlying cause, says Dr. Banga, and in some cases, finding the cause can slow or stop its progression.

diagnosis of disease

Alzheimer’s has a gradual and predictable progression, whereas other forms of dementia may progress differently. The course of the disease and life expectancy can vary widely.

Dr. Banga says that dementia is a broad term that includes various conditions that cause cognitive decline, while Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia that has its own specific characteristics and underlying causes.

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