Defining “dementia”

I want to start the new year off by clarifying some terminology around dementia.
If dementia was a “car”, Alzheimer’s disease would be a “Ford”
… meaning Alzheimer’s disease is a TYPE of dementia. Lewy Body Dementia is a TYPE of dementia.
dementia umbrella
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s a condition in which a set of symptoms exist that cause individuals to have difficulty functioning in their daily lives. These symptoms are related to thinking and to social abilities, and can include memory loss, impaired judgment and difficulty with language.
The most common type of progressive dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. Symptoms are caused by the destruction and death of nerve cells in the brain. Continued research is needed to determine exactly how and why the destruction begins. So, while Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, not all dementias are related to Alzheimer’s. Symptoms may be similar, but it is important to obtain a thorough medical evaluation when dementia is suspected in order to determine the appropriate cause.
Lewy body dementia is another type of progressive dementia. Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of protein in the brain that can cause tremors and rigidity similar to Parkinson’s Disease; visual hallucinations; fluctuations between confusion and clear thinking; and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, in which an individual acts out dreams.
… If you’re interested in learning more about Lewy body dementias, check out this great video seminar from the LBDA Speaker’s kit “When it isn’t Alzheimer’s” HERE. More on this to come… much love.
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6 thoughts on “Defining “dementia”

  1. love your website posts…. but shouldn’t Dementia be a Ford or a Chevy ? …. volkswagens not that common. Hope 2014 holds wonderful things for you! susan

    Susan C. Imke,FNP,GNP-C Phone 817-479-8288 Email: susanimke@yahoo.com

  2. Nice comparison. Differentiating dementia from Alzheimer’s disease is like differentiating seizure from epilepsy. Just about the perfect time for people to understand the difference of one to another

  3. Pingback: Parkinson’s disease… more than a movement disorder. |

  4. Pingback: Waiting too long for a dementia diagnosis? | Kaitlyn Roland

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