Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are very often used incorrectly as interchangeable terms. This is not quite the case. The similarities between the two conditions are many, which explains why most people confuse them. The differences are small and they are the reason for this misconception of the two states.
Dementia is the general term that covers various conditions in which damage to brain cells is observed, causing loss of memory and other vital functions of the body. In this sense, dementia is the general term that covers these conditions, part of which is Alzheimer's disease
It is also wrong to think that dementia is a natural course of loss of adequate mental activity, characteristic of aging people. That's not the case either. It is not at all necessary that everyone loses their memory and orientation as they age. According to the Alzheimer's Association of America, dementia and Alzheimer's disease are not diseases that occur due to aging and are not at all normal for the elderly.
Alzheimer's disease causes damage to brain cells in a way that drastically reduces their ability to communicate with each other. The end result is not only memory loss, but also movement disorders, orientation disorders, disorders in the ability to accumulate and systematize new information, disorders in the functions of organs and systems in the body, death.
The exact type of impairment depends on which type of dementia the sufferer has. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are different forms of dementia, one of which is Alzheimer's disease. Such are dementia affecting the anterior temporal lobe of the brain, dementia of Lewy bodies, mixed dementia, which arises from several simultaneous damage to the nervous tissue, and others.
The reason for the triggering and deepening of this brain cell degeneration is still unknown to medicine. However, research has greatly advanced and this enables early recognition and diagnosis of symptoms, giving a chance to slow down the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer's disease also differs from other types of dementia in that it can begin at a significantly earlier age, rather than in old age. Most dementias develop later in life, unlike Alzheimer's disease, which can begin before a person's 60s.
Thanks to the development of medicine, doctors can now recognize the signs of Alzheimer's disease in people between the ages of 30 and 60.
The US Food and Drug Administration has also approved the first new drug against Alzheimer's in 20 years. The approval of the European Medicines Agency is due by the end of the year.