Re: What is the difference between Dementia and Alzheimers
The symptoms are so similar --but,
---Scientists now know that AlZ is caused by a genetic predisposition or a change in a particular gene or enzyme. Not sure if I have said that correctly. has something to do with acetycholine in the brain.
---Dementia is not caused by genetics, and can be caused by normal aging, stroke, even small strokes that over time will cause scar tissue. This scar tissue will prevent blood flow to certain parts of the brain causing a variety of symptoms which can mimic true ALZ.
---An injury to the brain can also cause dementia.
ALZ can cause death in 5-8 years but old-fashioned dementia patients can live a very long time in that state.
However, if a stroke has caused the dementia, most likely another stroke will cause death.
My mom has been diagnosed with dementia/ALZ.
She has short term memory loss, does not retain anything she reads, cannot drive and her reflexes are terrible--cannot follow a recipe and basically is getting old fast.
Since she has short-term memory loss she doesn't think we ever tell her anything about the family or that we spend as much time with her as we do. It's very weird.
She no longer pays her bills or balances check book, etc. No way. But she can remember all kinds of things from 40 years ago. So I think she probably has normal aging mixed with dementia from those invisible strokes.
I read there are drugs for ALZ but not other types of dementia.
Last edited by golfhat; 12-30-2007 at 12:36 PM.