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What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s and Dementia disease are often thought of as two different things, when in fact the term “dementia” covers a range of diseases that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Read below to find out more about Alzheimer’s and Dementia including common types of dementia…

What is Dementia?

As mentioned above, the term “dementia” can sometimes be used to describe the symptoms a person is presenting with, while the cause of said symptoms can be a specific form of dementia.

The most common symptoms of dementia include memory loss (which is often a very early symptom), difficulty with communication and language, confusion and issues with concentration.

However, when planning treatment for someone suffering from dementia, it’s very important to understand exactly which form of dementia they have, so that likely symptoms, health issues and how care requirements might change over time can be considered and managed. Dementia is a progressive disease, which means it will get worse over time.

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia and develops as a result of a reduced supply of blood to the brain when the vascular system in the brain becomes damaged.

Vascular dementia can sometimes develop following a stroke when the blood supply to an area of the brain is cut off, becomes starved of oxygen and tissue dies. Around a fifth of people will develop vascular dementia following a stroke.

Dementia with Lewy bodies

Lewy Bodies are small deposits of protein that are found in the nerve cells of the brain and cause nerve cells to die.

The symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies are similar to those of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, including hallucinations, delusions, sleep disturbance and problems with movement.

Frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia happens when nerve cells in the lobes of the brain, which are used for problem-solving, planning, emotions and behaviour, are damaged, usually leading to changes in personality and behaviour.

This type of dementia is usually diagnosed in those aged between 45 and 65.

Mixed dementia

Mixed dementia is when someone has a combination of two types of dementia (sometimes three, but this isn’t as common).

You can find out more from the NHS website on What is Dementia here

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by connections between brain cells being lost, meaning signals are not passed on. This type of dementia is progressive, so symptoms develop and worsen over time as more areas of the brain become damaged. As a result, people with Alzheimer’s disease will require more care as it progresses.

Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s include everything from misplacing items to not being able to remember close family members, friends, and everyday objects.

What kind of care is needed for each type of dementia?

People living with dementia will often require different levels of care depending on the type of dementia they have and the group of symptoms they present.

While some people will be able to live mostly independently, with only a minor reliance on visiting carers who may need to help with some tasks, others may benefit from round-the-clock live-in care. Also, while it is possible for friends and family members to share care responsibilities between themselves, it may be worth considering respite care for periods where holiday cover may be required, or to give primary caregivers the opportunity to take a break.

You can find out more from the NHS website on Alzheimer’s here

How we can help with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

MyLife Edinburgh is leading the way in providing the very best standard in UK private home care services, helping to enhance people’s lives, and enabling them to continue living at home with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

We offer the widest range of services available from one company; from a weekly one-hour companionship visit to specialist, nurse-led care for more complex health needs and our support packages are carefully tailored to meet each individual customer’s requirements.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

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