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Differences Between Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s

Social Support Is Different

What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?

Dr. Rosanne Freak-Poli, senior research fellow at Monash Universitys Medicine Monash Health, who was not involved in the study, pointed out that ome people may confuse social isolation with social support.

Social support, she said, is about how social contacts are utilized. For example, a person may feel sufficient support from a few good friends who fulfill their social needs.

I like to describe people as enjoying their solitude if they are socially isolated but also feel socially supported, she told MNT.

Epidemiology Of Dementia And Parkinsons Disease

Dementia and PD are both diagnosed frequently and increase mortality . Perhaps dementia is perceived more so as a memory problem and a disease of old age, but the incidence of dementia and PD in younger age is similar. In the Netherlands, for dementia, the incidence per 1,000 person-years is 0.4 among those aged 6064 , and for PD, it is 0.3 . Dementia incidence patterns, however, show a much steeper increase with age mounting to 27 per 1,000 person-years for those 85 and over, compared to 4 for PD over 85. In view of similar mortality , therefore, the prevalence of dementia in the general population is much higher than prevalence of PD . However, adjusted for age and other factors, 6-year mortality in PD is higher than in Alzheimers dementia . Age adjustment is relevant also as it shows that comorbid disease may be equally prevalent for Alzheimersa main type of dementiaand PD across the same age groups .

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What Is Lewy Body Dementia

LBD is a chronic, neurodegenerative cognitive disorder, and is the third most common form of dementia. Unlike most other forms of dementia, people with LBD have Lewy bodies in the brain. Lewy bodies are abnormally-folded proteins found in the nerve cells of the brain.2,3

Patients with LBD may experience memory/cognitive problems, visual hallucinations, and Parkinsonism symptoms.4

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What Is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease was named by James Parkinson nearly 100 years before Dr. Alois Alzheimer described the type of dementia called Alzheimer’s disease .

This disease was colloquially referred to as the “shaking palsy” by James Parkinson. It is diagnosed in people who exhibit at least two of these three symptoms: slowed movements , muscle rigidity, and tremor even at rest.

Other recognized associated signs of Parkinson’s Disease include having an expressionless face, difficulty swallowing, cramped handwriting, trouble getting out of a chair, and a shuffling gait. Many of the symptoms are a result of nerve cell death in those that produce dopamine.

In addition to movement-related symptoms, Parkinson’s symptoms may be non-motor. Examples of non-motor symptoms include indifference, depression, constipation, sleep disorders, loss of the ability to smell, and cognitive impairment.

What Is Alzheimers Disease

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Alzheimers is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German neurologist who first discovered the cognitive function disease. Alzheimers disease is a neurologic disorder that is characterized by damage to the brain cells and actual brain shrinkage, or atrophy. Alzheimers disease is the leading cause of dementia, a generic term for behavioral and cognitive decline that may affect your basic ability to function as an AD patient.

While research still does not know the exact cause of Alzheimers disease, the basic mechanism involves dysfunction in brain proteins. This disrupts normal function in brain cells for an AD patient, known as neurons. The neurodegenerative disease results in damage to the neurons, a loss of connection between neurons, and eventually dead brain cells for an Alzheimers patient. This process typically starts in areas of the brain involved with memory, but this can start years prior to any noticeable cognitive symptoms. The neuronal atrophy eventually spreads to other regions of the brain, leading to increased brain shrinkage and severe cognitive issues.

There is currently no known cure for an Alzheimers patient, but medication can help to manage symptoms, maximize function, and slow the cognitive impairment diseases progress, enough to support your independence for some time.

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Differences In Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of people with dementia and Alzheimers disease can also be different. People with dementia may have a longer life expectancy, depending on the cause of the dementia, while people with Alzheimers disease typically have a shorter life expectancy due to the progressive nature of the disease.

Whats The Difference Between Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

Posted on: 12/16/2022

Alzheimers Disease is a disease that causes a group of symptoms that usually progresses to a stage called dementia, Ritter says.

Dementia is an umbrella term to describe memory and thinking problems severe enough to interfere with daily living, says Dr. Rade Vukmir, vice president of medical affairs at Alzheimers Association.

Alzheimers Disease is the most common type of dementia. However, dementia can be caused by other brain diseases and injuries including stroke and Parkinsons disease. Identifying the cause of dementia can affect treatment options.

Both Alzheimers and dementia are different from short-term memory loss or normal age-related memory loss, Vukmir says.

Continue reading to learn more about Alzheimers vs. dementia, and why knowing the difference is important for patients and their care teams.

What is Alzheimers?

Alzheimers is a progressive brain disease. It causes neuron cells, the brains messengers, to die. Ultimately, this leads to the brain shrinking and related complications from severe loss of brain function such as dehydration, malnutrition or infection that can ultimately be fatal.

Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers believe there are two ways that Alzheimers disease causes brain damage:

Symptoms of Alzheimers

Early symptoms of Alzheimers are often subtle, Burke says. They can include:

Treatment of Alzheimers

Coping with Alzheimers



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Diagnosis: Parkinson’s Dementia Or Dementia With Lewy Bodies

During assessment, a specialist may look at when the dementia symptoms first appeared before reaching a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies.

If there have been motor symptoms for at least one year before dementia symptoms occur, specialists will often give a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia.

If dementia symptoms occur before or at the same time as motor symptoms, specialists will usually give a diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies.

However, it should be noted that in some cases of dementia with Lewy bodies, no motor symptoms develop at all.

Theres no single test – diagnosis is made through several different assessments, usually starting with an appointment with your GP or Parkinson’s nurse.

Some people find it helps to go to the appointment with someone who knows them well, who can give the GP or Parkinson’s nurse information about changes they’ve noticed.

Your GP can discuss your symptoms with you and carry out a physical examination, including blood and urine tests, to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms .

Your GP may also review your medication, in case your symptoms are side effects.

If your GP thinks you have dementia, they can refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist or geriatrician.

You might be referred to a memory clinic or memory service. In some areas of the country, you can refer yourself to these services.

But if you feel you need to see the specialist again, you can ask to be referred back.

Reconnecting For Better Mental Health

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Social isolation matters for cognitive health. Clinicians should be thinking about and assessing the presence or absence of social connections in their patients, said Dr. Cudjoe.

Dr. Cudjoe said the studys nationally representative group of participants strengthens its conclusions, allowing them to be generalized across U.S. populations.

This is important in our thinking of broad-based solutions or policy, he said.

Older adults may consider reaching out more to other people, either on an individual basis or by participating in activities with groups of people, to lower the risk of developing dementia.

Getting out of your home and interacting with people at least once per month can have huge benefits to your future health and immediate well-being. Dr. Rosanne Freak-Poli

When I think about the other health behaviors, such as healthy eating or physical activity, they seem more difficult to achieve for the same health benefit, added Dr. Freak-Poli.

Dr. Sutin underscored the studys upside:

The good news is that social isolation is modifiable, and could be a target of intervention that may help reduce the risk of dementia associated with it.

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How Quickly Does Parkinsons Progress In The Elderly

Symptoms usually get worse over time, and new ones probably will pop up along the way. Parkinsons doesnt always affect how long you live. But it can change your quality of life in a major way. After about 10 years, most people will have at least one major issue, like dementia or a physical disability.

Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease

The most common symptoms of Alzheimers disease are associated with memory loss. However, the way that memories are stored and recalled is distinct in people with Alzheimers than other forms of dementia. Patients with this disease usually have strong recollections of deeply seated memories.

However, they have trouble regurgitating information that they learned recently. Thats because Alzheimers changes the regions of the brain that are associated with learning.

Some of the symptoms of Alzheimers disease include:

  • Trouble remembering new information
  • Confusion about time, places and events
  • Suspicions toward loved ones and caregivers
  • Difficulty speaking, walking or swallowing

Alzheimers disease presents itself in different stages. Symptoms may vary, and the stages dont always correspond exactly with these, but understanding them may help you identify the condition in yourself or a loved one.

The stages of Alzheimers disease include:

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Differences Between Alzheimers And Parkinsons Disease

Do you know the differences between Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease? These diseases are among the most common causes of dementia. Learn more about them in this post.

First, we must say that both of these diseases are two of the causes of dementia. However, it is important to keep in mind that these are two very different diseases. In addition, it should be made clear that having any of these conditions does not always lead to the development of dementia .

In this sense, we know that between 20 to 60% of people with Parkinsons disease end up developing dementia.

In a study by Buter et al. , published in the journal Neurology, in which 233 patients with Parkinsons disease participated, it was observed that about 60% of them developed Parkinsons dementia over a 12-year period.

But what is dementia? This concept refers to the set of symptoms that arise as a result of neurological damage or disease. These symptoms involve the loss or weakening of the mental faculties and mainly affect three different areas: the cognitive area , the behavioral area , and the personality area .

There is nothing that is a clearer sign of dementia than doing something repeatedly and hoping that the results will be different.-Albert Einstein-

How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed


No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

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See A Doctor If Youre Noticing Symptoms Beyond Parkinsons

Sometimes the mood or memory changes a person experiences cannot entirely be explained just by Parkinsons. If this is the case, the caregiver should explore other diagnoses, because if something cannot be explained by Parkinsons, theres certainly a risk of it being dementia, Oguh said.

She added that some signs to look for include increased memory and behavioral problems, like mood swings, anxiety or depression. Psychiatric behaviors, like hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, cannot just be explained by Parkinsons, and are more likely to be caused by a form of dementia like Lewy body dementia.

Oguh urged caregivers to be aware of changing symptoms like these.

I think sometimes family members are able to realize sooner than the patient, Oguh said. Often the patient might lack insight as to what is happening. I would encourage family members to seek expert opinion and treatment options.

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The Differences Between Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

16 October, 2020

Do you know the differences between Alzheimers and Parkinsons? First of all, we must say that both diseases constitute two of the causes of dementia. Now, lets be a bit more specific. According to data from the WHO , dementia due to Alzheimers disease represents 60-70% of all cases of dementia in the world.

However, its important to keep in mind that theyre very different diseases. Additionally, we must make clear that having either condition doesnt always lead to the development of dementia . In this sense, we know that between 20-60% of people with Parkinsons disease end up developing dementia.

Buter et al. conducted a study that was published in the journal Neurology. It was conducted with 233 patients with Parkinsons disease. The researchers were able to observe that about 60% of them developed Parkinsons dementia in a period of 12 years.

So whats dementia? It refers to the set of symptoms that arise as a consequence of neurological damage or disease. These symptoms involve the loss or weakening of the mental faculties and mainly affect three different areas: cognitive , behavioral , and personality .

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Behaviors Seen In Parkinsons Disease Dementia

As dementia progresses, managing disorientation, confusion, agitation, and impulsivity can be a key component of care.

Some patients experience hallucinations or delusions as a complication of Parkinsons disease. These may be frightening and debilitating. Approximately 50 percent of those with the disease may experience them.

The best thing to do when giving care to someone experiencing hallucinations or delusions from Parkinsons disease dementia is to keep them calm and reduce their stress.

Take note of their symptoms and what they were doing before they exhibited signs of hallucinating and then let their doctor know.

This element of the disease can be particularly challenging for caregivers. Patients may become unable to care for themselves or be left alone.

Some ways to make caregiving easier include:

  • sticking to a normal routine whenever possible
  • being extra comforting after any medical procedures
  • limiting distractions
  • using curtains, nightlights, and clocks to help stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • remembering that the behaviors are a factor of the disease and not the person

Things You Should Know About The Link Between Parkinsons And Dementia

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Both Parkinsons disease and dementia were ravaging the brain and behavior of actor Robin Williams before his death, but at the time, he didnt realize he had the latter.

Despite the fact that the signs of this combination can be confusing, the double diagnosis of Parkinsons and dementia impacts a large number of people. Of the one million people who have Parkinsons in the U.S., 50 to 80 percent may have dementiaeither as a result of Parkinsons pathology, or separately.

Robin Williams widow, Susan, wrote an editorial published in Neurology that was addressed to neurologists after his death. In it, she shared what it was like seeing her husband experience both Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia firsthand.

My hope is that it will help you understand your patients along with their spouses and caregivers a little more, Susan wrote.

Williams was first diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, which at first seemed to provide some answers for his out-of-character symptoms.

But it wasnt until after his death that an autopsy revealed he had been in the later stages of Lewy body dementiaa common form of dementia characterized by deposits of Lewy body proteins in the brain, which can impact physical movement, mood, memory and behavior.

I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting, Susan wrote. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life.

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What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Paying attention

If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely wont be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.

Experts dont understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimers disease, another type of dementia.

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Lewy Body Dementia Vs Parkinsons Disease Dementia

Diagnoses of Lewy body dementia include dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinsons disease dementia. Symptoms in both of these diagnoses can be similar.

Lewy body dementia is a progressive dementia caused by abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. Lewy bodies are also seen in Parkinsons disease.

The overlap in symptoms between Lewy body dementia and Parkinsons disease dementia include movement symptoms, rigid muscles, and problems with thinking and reasoning.

This seems to indicate that they could be linked to the same abnormalities, though more research is needed to confirm that.

The later stages of Parkinsons disease have more severe symptoms that may require help moving around, around-the-clock care, or a wheelchair. Quality of life can decline rapidly.

Risks of infection, incontinence, pneumonia, falls, insomnia, and choking increase.

Hospice care, memory care, home health aides, social workers, and support counselors can be a help in later stages.

Parkinsons disease itself isnt fatal, but complications can be.

Research has shown a median survival rate of about

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