1. Is there a difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
The term dementia refers to a “syndrome” which is a collection of symptoms and signs. Dementia is a syndrome whereby individuals face not only memory problems but also problems in other areas, controlled by the brain such as speech, attention etc. The dementia syndrome has many causes but the most frequent (at 60%-70%) is the Alzheimer’s disease.
2. What are the most common types of dementia?
Hitherto more than 100 types of dementia have been described, each one caused by different reasons. The most common are:
- Alzheimer’s disease, more than 50% of the total.
- Vascular dementia, 20%.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies, 15%.
Followed by Frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia etc.
3. What are briefly the symptoms of dementia?
- The most common symptoms of dementia are:
- Orientation problems
- Difficulty in doing some simple activities(dressing, phone calls)
- Thought and speech disturbances
- Behavioral disturbances and change of particular character elements such as anxiety and aggression.
4. Is dementia hereditary?
According to what we know today, the vast majority of Alzheimer’s dementia cases are not of hereditary form. Some genes related to the disease have been recently discovered. However, their existence does not mean that the disease will appear, it just increases the chances of it. In a limited number of families, where the occurrence of the Alzheimer’s disease is detected at an early age, a genetic mutation has been found which is responsible for the appearance of the disease.
5. Does dementia occur in younger people?
Dementia usually occurs in people older than 60 years. But there is also a small group of patients who develop symptoms of dementia before the age of 60.
6. Is dementia treatable?
Although there is no possibility to stop the progression of the disease, the last few years medical substances have been used in order to slow its progression and control its symptoms.
7. Why is the early diagnosis of dementia important?
Early diagnosis of dementia is important because:
Although there is no cure for dementia, today there are drugs available which slow the progression of cognitive impairment (transiently). There are also medications that can control in a significant way the psychiatric symptoms of the disease.
The disease affects not only the patient, but also his wider family environment. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease create with their behavior various emotions to their caregivers (immediate family) that are not easily manageable.
The information above is only indicative and derives from the relative bibliography. Under no circumstances should this be considered a substitute for information provided by your doctor, who is the most appropriate to inform you about the disease and its treatment.