To the average Joe, dementia and Alzheimer’s might seem like the same thing – after all, they both describe cognitive impairment that usually affects memory. But they aren’t, and understanding the distinction is essential.
As Dementia Australia explains on their website, “Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease.”
Dementia has many different forms, but the most common types are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Because Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia (accounting for 50 to 70 per cent of all cases), it’s easy to get the two confused – especially since many forms share similar symptoms.