Differences from Dementia

Articles exploring the differences between Alzheimers and Dementia

What is Dementia?

Dementia defined

Dementia is a loss of mental function in two or more areas such as language, memory, visual and spatial abilities, or judgment severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia itself is not a disease but a broader set of symptoms that accompanies certain diseases or physical conditions. Well-known diseases that cause dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, multi-infarct dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Pick’s disease, and Lewy body dementia. Other physical conditions may cause or mimic dementia, such as depression, brain tumors, head injuries, nutritional deficiencies, hydrocephalus, infections (AIDS, meningitis, syphilis), drug reaction, and thyroid problems. Individual experiencing dementia-like symptoms should undergo diagnostic testing as soon as possible. An early and accurate diagnosis helps to identify reversible conditions gives patients a greater chance of benefiting from existing treatments, and allows them and their families more time to plan for the future.

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Types of Dementia


Multi-infarct dementia (MID), or vascular dementia is is a deterioration of mental capacity caused by multiple strokes (infarcts) in the brain. These events may be described as mini strokes, where small blood vessels in the brain become blocked by blood clots, causing the destruction of brain tissue. The onset of MID may seem relatively sudden, as it may take several strokes for symptoms to appear. These strokes may damage areas of the brain responsible for a specific function as well as produce general symptoms of dementia. As a result, MID is sometimes misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. MID is not reversible or curable, but detection of high blood pressure and other vascular risk factors can lead to a specific treatment that may modify MID's progression. MID is usually diagnosed through neurological examination and brain scanning techniques, such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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