“What’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?”
This is one of the most common questions national dementia educator Teepa Snow receives. In this “Ask the Dementia Expert” episode, she discusses how the the two relate and clarifies these common and often-confused terms. Read highlights below or watch the full video.
Teepa Snow: Dementia is a great big umbrella term. It’s a collection of conditions with four characteristics:
We now know there are over 120 forms, causes, and types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a particular type that fits under the umbrella of dementia with two key characteristics:
When doctors see beta-amyloid plaque formation combined with tau in people’s brains after they’ve died, they can tell they’ve had Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s makes up about 50-60% of all dementia cases, but under the umbrella, there are different kinds of dementia that can affect older and younger people. The bad news is people can also have more than one kind of dementia.
In all types of dementia, typically one of the areas of the brain that’s affected early on is the hippocampal area, which is found in the temporal lobe and plays a major role in learning and memory.
Dementia can affect your memory, wayfinding, and:
These are some of the hallmarks of the beginning signs, but it ultimately depends on the kind of dementia you have.