Today, more than 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, including over 520,000 with Alzheimer’s disease. Not everybody knows that the two terms are far from being interchangeable. Read on to find out more about the main differences.
Are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same disease?
Dementia is not a disease, but it identifies a group of symptoms that may include:
Dementia is caused by a range of diseases affecting the brain, including Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a disease, and is the most common cause of dementia.
What are the causes of dementia?
As we mentioned, dementia is a set of symptoms. These symptoms can be caused by an array of different diseases that produce a loss of nerve cells in the brain. Dementia is progressive, so the symptoms will get worse with time.
There are more than 100 known causes of dementia, including:
You can develop more than one type of dementia at the same time (mixed dementia), with symptoms from multiple diseases.
It is important for the diagnosis to specify what type of dementia you have. This way, you’ll be able to learn how to better cope with the symptoms and how to set up the most appropriate dementia care.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is the most common disease causing the set of symptoms called “dementia”. The damages to the brain – which start long before the first symptoms appear – are caused by ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ which disrupt the communication between nerve cells.
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatments and personalised Alzheimer’s care
can alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life of people affected by this progressive disease.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
Everyone’s experience of Alzheimer’s is unique: each person affected will have slightly different symptoms. Also, symptoms will change over time as the disease progresses.
These are the most common signs you can expect to experience in the early stages of Alzheimer’s:
Read more about treatments and how to live well with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Click for more information these charities about Alzheimer’s and dementia:
How Home Instead can help
Home Instead is recognised as a valued and trusted solution to help your loved one maintain their independence at home for as long as they are able to. Our trained Care Professionals provide personalised home care that: