What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Written by Active Minds on Tuesday the 23rd of August 2016.


What is dementia?

Dementia is a common condition for people over the age of 65. Dementia is a syndrome, that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. This can include problems with memory loss, mental agility, language, understanding and lack of judgement.

Personality traits may change when someone has dementia. People with dementia can have problems controlling their emotions and may lose understanding and compassion for their loved ones and others around them.

Planning and organising things become difficult for people with dementia, and maintaining their independence may also become a problem. As a person’s dementia progresses, they may need help from friends, relatives or carers.

Dementia can not be cured, but if it is detected early there are ways to slow the syndrome down.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a very specific form of dementia and is the most common type of dementia, affecting an estimated 850,000 people in the UK.

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown however there are a number of things thought to increase the risk of developing the condition such as, increasing age, a family history of the condition, previous severe head injuries and lifestyle factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, further symptoms such as, confusion, difficulty making decisions, problems with speech and language and personality changes can develop.

How are they different?

To put it simply, Alzheimer’s is a disease and dementia is a collection of symptoms that occur when the brain cells stop working properly. There are around 200 types of dementia, so you can have a form of dementia that is completely unrelated to Alzheimer’s disease.

For advice on how to care for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, get in touch with us today.