Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

Is It Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia?

Posted by Total Access Medical on Jun 19, 2024

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Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life, while Alzheimer's is a specific disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. 

Learning about the two terms and the difference between them is important and can empower individuals living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, their families and their caregivers.

Dementia is an overall term for a particular group of symptoms. The characteristic symptoms of dementia are difficulties with memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Changes to the brain cause dementia, and many different brain changes can lead to dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is one cause of dementia. The brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease include the excessive accumulation of the protein fragment beta-amyloid and an abnormal form of the protein tau, as well as damage to and destruction of neurons. The brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease are the most common contributor to dementia. Dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease is called Alzheimer’s dementia.  

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Topics: Alzheimer's, brain health