Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

Lots of folks ask us about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Are they the different? That’s a good question.  One of the easiest ways to think about the difference is to think about what it means to have a sore throat.  There are many causes for having a sore throat. Sore throat  is a general term which describes a set of symptoms.  Similarly, dementia is a general term for a group of symptoms like memory loss, behavior and personality changes and there are different causes for those symptoms of dementia.  Alzheimer’s is one type of  dementia.  There are other types: Lewy body dementia, frontal-temporal dementia, vascular dementia and others.  There are over 126 different types of dementia. Some are reversible and some are not.  That’s why it’s critical to have a comprehensive physical exam and neuropsychological testing to be certain your diagnosis is correct.  It’s also important to test for heavy metal toxicity because heavy metal poisoning looks just like Alzheimer’s Disease but it’s reversible.

Here’s an interesting article from  the Alzheimer’s Association to get more information about the difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.


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