The term dementia refers to a set of symptoms, and not specifically any disease. These symptoms might include aspects like difficulty remembering, poor judgment and difficulty speaking. In a nutshell, dementia is a symptom, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the cause of the symptom. There are also other types of disorders that can lead to dementia, including Parkinson’s, among others. This is why it is often difficult to diagnose a patient correctly, especially if he has multiple symptoms.
Difference in Early Stages
There can be some clear differences between the diseases in the early stages of a disease. For example, in dementia with Lewy Bodies (the second most common cause of dementia) early symptoms of the disease may not be so much forgetting things, but rather a reduced attention span, periods where clear thinking is not possible, confusion, and visual hallucinations. As this disease progresses, more parts of the brain will be influenced and these differences will become visible and more severe. Other factors that can trigger dementia are: infections like HIV, cardiovascular disease and a stroke, depression and chronic drug use.
Effects of Both Diseases on Brain
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disorder with no cure. Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms are visible. This disease affects a person’s memory, mood, and behavior. Memory difficulties and behavior changes can be early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Over time, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will find it difficult to think rationally, remembering things, and also with things like judgment, speaking and planning ahead. Alzheimer’s disease affects almost all aspects of the functioning of the brain, including the person’s personality, as well as a variety of daily activities that make it difficult for a person to manage and function on their won without assistance.
How Healthy Lifestyle Can Save You Its Effects
A healthy lifestyle may help to prevent or postpone the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is most common in people over the age of 80 therefore, delaying the onset of the disease could increase the probability that people will die of other causes before Alzheimer’s has a chance to develop. Maintaining mental fitness may delay the progression of of dementia. There has been some research studies that show that lifelong mental exercise and learning may promote the growth of synapses, which refers to the physical connections between neurons, as well as a delay in dementia.
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