Differences between Alzheimer's treatments and dementia treatments

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

If you’re unsure what the differences between Alzheimer’s treatments and dementia treatments are, you are certainly not alone. The first step that one must take in understanding the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia is to understand that there is indeed a clearly defined line between the two.

Dementia is more of an umbrella term referring to the fact that mental ability and cognitive ability is not at a level that it should be. This definition is usually associated with the elderly. Symptoms of dementia can be seen in younger people as well, but the causes are different. The easiest way to think of dementia is that it covers a group of symptoms, such as problems with memory and general cognitive function.

How Dementia and Alzheimer’s Differ

In order to understand Alzheimer’s it is first necessary to understand dementia. Of course, since the two are different, proper Alzheimer’s treatments and Alzheimer’s housing may be different from dementia treatment. As previously mentioned, dementia refers to a collection of symptoms and indicators that indicate problems with cognitive function.

Here is a list of some of the symptoms that might indicate dementia:

  • Problems with memory
  • Difficult solving problems in a quick and timely manner or at all
  • Problems with speech and language
  • General forgetfulness
  • Emotional problems such as depression
  • A feeling of disorientation and confusion

The Causes of Dementia

The reasons for dementia are quite numerous and varied. In general, the root causes of dementia involve traumas such as brain trauma or a stroke. However, there are other notable exceptions, such as brain damage from drug and alcohol abuse and vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, there are numerous diseases, such as Lyme disease, that can contribute to dementia. In short, the causes of dementia are quite diverse. This underscores just how important proper diagnosis and medical care is for those suffering from this illness.

A Look at Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Treatments

Alzheimer’s treatment is clearly impacted by the nature of the disease itself. In fact, care options like Alzheimer’s housing or in-home care also reflect the complex nature of the illness. Alzheimer’s differs from dementia in numerous key ways.

Alzheimer’s disease is a clearly defined disease that is degenerative, has no cure and, unfortunately, is ultimately fatal. This disease is usually found in the elderly and millions of people are affected worldwide. Many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can resemble those of dementia, thus hampering correct diagnosis.

Some Common Symptoms Requiring Alzheimer’s Treatments

  • A general sense of confusion
  • Problems with memory
  • Changes in personality
  • Difficulty with language skills
  • General cognitive impairment
  • Difficulty with Problem Solving
It should further be noted that the causes of Alzheimer’s are still not completely understood by the medical and scientific community.  The disease appears to be caused by a plaque in the brain and the exact nature of this brain plaque is very complex and not yet fully understood.

Alzheimer’s Treatments and Alzheimer’s Housing

To date, there are a handful of treatments that address the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but not the disease itself, which is incurable. There are medications for associated behavioral problems as well as drugs for memory related issues. A variety of other foods and supplements are currently used as well, such as CO-Q10, which has a variety of health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine or PS, which is derived from soy. In particular, PS shows some promise concerning Alzheimer’s care. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for overall brain and heart health in general. However, the use of any drugs or supplements should be done in conjunction with an experienced medical expert.

Due to the nature of Alzheimer’s, those in need of Alzheimer’s treatment will likely need assistance with Alzheimer’s living. Often this means Alzheimer’s living communities. Alzheimer’s housing facilities provide around the clock and comprehensive care, which is, of course, necessary for those with the condition.

While much of the news relating to Alzheimer’s may not be encouraging, it is important for those with the condition and their loved ones to understand that medical science is moving at a speed that would have been unthinkable just 20 years ago. Based on this fact alone, there is reason to be optimistic that significant progress will be made in the coming years.



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