It’s a common concern, and physicians are some of the very best at confusing us. Physicians seem to choose the word “dementia,” possibly because Alzheimer’s has actually ended up being such a packed word.
The difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia is that “Dementia” in some way sounds less frightening to many individuals, and now even the specialists have started using the words interchangeably.
They aren’t interchangeable. Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia are two very different things.
Dementia is a sign. Pain is a sign and many different injuries and health problems can cause discomfort. When you go to the physician because you feel sick, you won’t be pleased if the medical professional detects “your pain and discomfort” but sends you home. You want to know what is triggering the pain and discomfort, and how to treat it.
“Dementia” just implies the sign of a deterioration of intellectual capabilities arising from an unspecified disease or disorder of the brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is one disease/disorder that causes dementia. Many other health problems or “syndromes” can also cause dementia.
Many of the important things that can trigger dementia are treatable, even possibly curable.
Do physicians really know about it?
If you have taken your senior family member to the physician and received a diagnosis of “dementia” or you may not have received a medical diagnosis. Unless you understand what is triggering dementia you can’t start to treat its origin.
If your doctor has actually diagnosed “dementia” it’s time for a second viewpoint. You are probably dealing either with a doctor who is not comfy with the reality, or one who does not understand how (or doesn’t wish to bother) to distinguish in between all the possible reasons for dementia. In any case, a knowledgeable geriatrician or a neurologist who is comfy with elders would be a great location to begin.
Alzheimer’s disease is one disease/disorder that triggers dementia. Lots of other diseases or “syndromes” can likewise cause dementia. Parkinson’s Disease can cause dementia. You are most likely dealing either with a doctor who is not comfortable with the fact, or one who doesn’t know how (or does not desire to trouble) to differentiate in between all the possible causes of dementia.
It’s important as any other illness to catch Alzheimer’s disease or dementia at the early stage this will help patients choose treatment preferences. Therefore, allowing caregivers to make decisions in conjunction with their wishes.
Researchers have studied the relationship between people’s concern about developing Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Go to your physician to be tested, if experiencing changes in reasoning status or effective thinking and concerns about sharing the diagnostic information with others.
These concerns are only a handful that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America hears almost every day from families across the country living with this disease. With the generation of baby boomers beginning to turn 65 years old plus more people living longer than ever before, Alzheimer’s disease is now reaching rampant proportions.
As current statistics show, more than 5 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to probably triple by the year 2060. While those numbers grow, it’s extremely important for people to be up to date with the information, research, and support they will need as Alzheimer’s develops and starts to interfere with their lives.
One study found surprising results
A study conducted using Porter Novelli’s SummerStyles 2013 online survey data. Of the 6105 participants aged 18+ who received the survey, 4033 adults replied (response rate: 66%). Chi-squares were used with case-level weighting applied.
About 13% of participants reported being very worried about getting Alzheimer’s or dementia, with women more worried than men (p <.001) with Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers more concerned than other types of caregivers (p = .04). Women were also more determined than men to be screened or tested if experiencing changes in memory and/or thinking (p <.001). The greater the worry, the more likely participants would agree to be screened/tested (p <.001). Nearly 66% of participants were concerned that sharing a diagnosis would change the way others think and/or feel about them, with women reporting greater concern than men (p = .003).
The results show that the level of worry about Alzheimer’s or dementia is associated with the reported likelihood that participants agree to be screened and/or tested. This information will be useful in forming communication policies to address public concern about Alzheimer’s or dementia that may increase the likelihood of screening and early discovery, giving people a better chance in controlling this disease and may even stop it.