June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Understand the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, and the importance of knowing the difference
Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month header

The month of June is Alzheimer’s Awareness month. This month, the dementia community aims to highlight the prevalence of dementia, offer education on the types of dementia, and encourage early detection. One of the most frequently asked questions about dementia is, “What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?”

Alzheimer’s and dementia are words that are frequently used incorrectly and interchangeably, even within the  medical field. Knowing the difference can help establish appropriate, quality care for you or your loved one.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms impacting cognitive ability on a regular basis. This includes; memory loss, language challenges, emotional regulation, problem solving and even insight into these changes. These symptoms are generally present enough to impact an individual’s day to day life and are not a normal part of aging. In most cases, these symptoms gradually become worse over time and impact an individual’s abilities more and more.

There are several diseases that can cause these symptoms; Alzheimer’s disease happens to be one of these. Other causes include Lewy Bodies Disease, Vascular or Frontotemporal dementia to name a few. It’s also possible for people to have “mixed dementia” meaning they could have a combination of diseases. Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure for these diseases but some symptoms can be managed through various therapies; pharmaceutical and creative arts.

There are various reasons why they may receive a diagnosis of dementia, versus a specific type such as the ones above. For many, a general “dementia” diagnosis isn’t enough and it’s important to pursue a specific diagnosis. If you begin to notice changes in your loved one, it’s important to address it, and pursue an understanding of the cause of these symptoms. Talk with your loved one’s doctors about the importance of pursuing a specific dementia diagnosis. 

Want to learn more? Watch our founder, Dr. Marc Rothman talk about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia

Related Articles

Lost Recipes

Lost Recipes

Food brings people together. Losing the ability to prepare and serve meals can be frustrating and leads to other problems. Here’s what to look out for.

read more