HomeCureWhat's The Difference Between Parkinson's And Alzheimer's

What’s The Difference Between Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Caring For Someone With Parkinsons

whats the difference between dementia and Alzheimers

Practice patience and understanding when dealing with Parkinsons. You may be very frustrated and challenged as a caregiver, but those with Parkinsons are just as frustrated. Their physical and mental conditions can be debilitating, depressing, and humiliating.

Diet and nutrition can have a huge impact on the health and comfort of a Parkinson patient. Eating well, getting more rest, sleeping well, fresh air, and exercise can make a difference. Getting the right medication and complementary therapies is also important.

As Parkinsons impacts a patients motor skills, modifications to the living environment may have to be made to accommodate wheelchairs and limited mobility issues. Professional in-home assistance for Parkinsons can allow Parkinson patients to remain independent and can enhance quality of life.

Most importantly, seek help and support from family, friends, and caregiving support groups. Take advantage of the resources in your community. Shouldering all the burden can take a toll on a caregiver.

Take care of yourself or you wont be able to take care of your loved one. Follow the preventive advice provided above for yourself as well, and take deep breaths!


Is There A Test To Diagnose Pd Dementia

There is no single test for PDD. The diagnosis is made clinically. If you or someone you spend time with notices cognitive changes, it is important to discuss them with your care team. If you dont have a care team in place, its important to find a specialist or physician familiar with dementia or geriatric medicine. Call the Parkinsons Foundation Helpline 1-800-4PD-INFO for a referral.

Dont Miss: How Do You Know If You Have Dementia

Lewy Bodies: More Than Lbd

LBD is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of the brain, meaning that LBD patients have Lewy bodies in the brain.2 However, Lewy bodies are also common with other conditions, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. In fact, most people with PD also have Lewy bodies in their brain. However, even if they have Lewy bodies, not all Parkinsons patients will also develop LBD.2

You May Like: L Dopa Induced Dyskinesia

What Is The Best Way To Communicate With A Person With Pdd

PD-related mood and motor changes can impact communicationcognitive changes and Parkinsons disease dementia can further these difficulties.

  • It is not usually helpful to try to reason or argue with someone experiencing a hallucination or delusion. Stay calm and be patient. If the person is frightened by the hallucination or delusion, try to redirect their attention to something else.
  • You may find acknowledging what the person is seeing, even if you do not see it, can reduce stress.
  • Speak slowly and at eye level. Communicate in simple sentences.
  • Ask one question at a time and wait for an answer.
  • Limit distractions. Turn off the TV or radio before asking a person with PDD to do something.
  • Consider causes behind disruptive behavior: the person may be hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain, frustrated, lonely or bored.
  • If the person is stuck on an idea, try agreeing with them, then changing the subject.
  • Its OK to use humor to diffuse stressful situations but avoid negative humor or sarcasm these can be misunderstood.

Page reviewed by Dr. Jori Fleisher, MSCE, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

Also Check: Dementia Ribbon Colour

Theres No Cure For The Diseases But Some Therapies May Help

Differences Between Dementia &  Alzheimer

Certain drugs, like cholinesterase inhibitors and antipsychotic medications, are prescribed as treatment for people with Parkinsons and dementia. And lifestyle changesfrom improved diet, sleep, exercise and socializinghave been shown to have beneficial effects on patients with these diseases.

Oguh noted she hopes that improved treatments that will help some of the emotional and behavioral problems in these patients will be on the horizon soon.

Im hoping that with the new advances in medication, well be able to control better, Oguh said. I believe there will be better medication to improve cognition in patients, and that that will be seen in the next five to 10 years.

Recommended Reading: Uf Cmdnr

What To Do If Youre Worried About Your Memory

If you suspect youre experiencing any warning signs of dementia , the first thing to do is see a physician. Dr. Scharre recommends asking for a cognitive assessment at your annual physical so your results can be compared year-over-year and declines can be identified and addressed right awayjust like a colonoscopy, blood pressure screening, or cholesterol testing.

As with any medical condition, typically the earlier you identify it, the more options you have for treatment and typically the better you do, he says. Some forms of dementia have treatable causes while others like Alzheimers are also treatable, just not reversible or curable. Thatnew medication the FDA approved for Alzheimers, for example, only works in the mild cognitive impairment stagethats where its sweet spot is and if you start getting even a little bit more than mild dementia its not useful.

More Differences Found Between Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

Pauline Anderson

Although some research points to the possibility of a pathologic overlap between Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease , 2 recent studies highlight the differences between these age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

One study found no significant evidence supporting the presence of loci that increase the risk for both PD and AD, while another study concluded that cognitively impaired patients with PD don’t exhibit the same pattern of -amyloid deposition in the brain as those with AD.

Although patients with AD and PD can share common clinical symptoms and neuropathology, the gene study, August 5 in JAMA Neurology, did not find any evidence for overlap of the genetic risk factors that underpin the 2 diseases.

“Our study does not support the hypothesis that AD and PD form a biological continuum, but instead suggests that the diseases are innately distinct,” said lead author Valentina Moskvina, PhD, Medical Research Council Center for Neuropsychiatric Genetic and Genomics, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, United Kingdom.

A meta-analysis of combined AD and PD GWA studies used a previously published mathematical approach to adjust for lack of independence caused by controls being used in both studies. This analysis revealed no significant evidence for the presence of alleles that increase the risk for both diseases.

Polygenic Score

Amyloid Study

Clinical Applicability

Read Also: What Color Is The Ribbon For Parkinson’s

What Other Things Help

There are various ways to help a person with PDD. Speech therapy may help improve communication between people with PDD and others. Physical therapy may help strengthen and stretch stiff muscles and help to prevent falls.

Research has shown that physical exercise helps to enhance brain health and improves mood and general fitness. A balanced diet, enough sleep and limited alcohol intake are other important ways to promote good brain health. Other illnesses that affect the brain, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should also be treated if present.

What’s The Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia

Difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

ByRemy Melina09 September 2010

Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to a group of physical and mental symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily functions. The symptoms can be caused by various diseases or disorders.


Language difficulty, memory loss, poor judgment, confusion and changes in personality and mood are some of the symptoms of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic. People with dementia may also lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Other symptoms include difficulty with coordination and motor functions, paranoia, agitation, hallucinations and withdrawal from work or social activities.

In order to be diagnosed with dementia, the person must show serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Doctors use a battery of screenings to determine the cause of the dementia. These include blood tests, mental status evaluations, neuropsychological testing and brain scans. In 90 percent of cases, doctors can accurately diagnose the cause of dementia symptoms , according to the Mayo Clinic.

Causes of general dementia include: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, pugilistic Parkinson’s syndrome and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Some causes of dementia, such as a vitamin deficiency or drug interaction, are treatable and even reversible, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Alzheimer’s disease

Don’t Miss: Ribbon Color For Parkinson’s Disease

Memory And Thinking Problems

You may experience forgetfulness, slowed thinking and difficulty concentrating. You might find it harder to follow conversations, and remember some words and names. This can make communication difficult.

You may also find it increasingly difficult to make decisions, plan activities and solve problems. This can make everyday activities harder.

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.

Also Check: Parkinson’s Disease Articles

What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease was described by James Parkinson nearly 100 years before Dr. Alois Alzheimer described the dementia later named Alzheimers disease . Called the shaking palsy by Parkinson, PD is diagnosed when a person shows at least two of these three symptoms: slowed movements , muscle rigidity, and tremor . We recognize many other associated signs of PD, including expressionless face, quiet speech, cramped handwriting, shuffling gait, trouble getting out of a chair, and difficulty swallowing. Many of the symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease result when certain nerve cells that produce dopamine in the brain begin to malfunction and die.

Most cases are called idiopathic, meaning the cause remains unknown, although a small number of cases are linked with poisoning , head trauma, more complex PD-like neurological disorders , or reversible toxic medication effects ,

The Differences Between Parkinsons Disease And Alzheimers

Difference Between Alzheimers Disease and Dementia with ...

Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease, respectively, are the causes of two common types of neurological disorders related to dementias.

However, there are many aspects that allow us to distinguish between the two diseases in this article we will know the most important differences between Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers .

Also Check: What Causes Parkinson’s Patients To Die

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:

Dont Miss: How Do You Treat Someone With Dementia

Comparing Trajectories And Conceptualization Of Palliative Care For Dementia And Pd

The two disease trajectories may overlap partly as dementia is a frequent manifestation of PD. Mild cognitive impairment may already present upon diagnosis of PD . Importantly, it is independently associated with lower quality of life . Across studies, typically about a quarter of patients with PD have dementia , but ultimately, most develop dementia .

A clear conceptualization of palliative care in chronic-progressive diseases is important for the development of healthcare systems that facilitate the integration of a palliative approach . Therefore, in this article we compare the disease trajectories of dementia and PD in as far as relevant for the conceptualizations of palliative care. We do not include atypical Parkinsonian disorders such as multiple system atrophy because these warrant a special approach with earlier palliative care . We first provide background on where we are by describing how palliative care for dementia and PD developed.

Don’t Miss: Does Restore Gold Work For Parkinson’s

Are There Medicines To Treat Pdd

Though there is no cure for PDD yet, there are medications that help manage the symptoms. These medications are called cholinesterase inhibitors, and they can help if a person with PDD is having memory problems. Some examples of these medicines are donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine. Sleep problems may be managed by sleep medications such as melatonin.

Because people with PDD are usually very sensitive to medications, any new medication, even one that is not being used for the brain, needs to be reviewed with the persons provider to avoid potential contraindication.

Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

What is Lewy Body Dementia?

Unlike Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease specifically affects movement. Early signs of the disease can be easy to miss or ignore, but the most common manifestation is a tremor. This is characterized by involuntary shaking that usually begins in your hands or fingers, though it can potentially affect any part of your body. Your hand may tremble when you are at rest, or you may unconsciously rub your thumb and index finger together .

Parkinsons disease can also result in bradykinesia, or slowed movement. This can create the feeling of having your feet stuck to the floor. Your gait may change to shorter steps when you walk, and you may have difficulty with general movements, like trying to get out of a chair.

You may also experience muscle rigidity or stiffness. This can further limit your range of motion and make movement painful.

This can also extend to any automatic or unconscious movements. You may have trouble blinking, emoting, or swinging your arms when you walk. In fact, many people experience a masked face where they constantly have a mad, sad, or serious look even when they are in perfectly good moods.

Along with its effects on movement, Parkinsons disease can affect other things involving your motor function, including:

  • Changes to your handwriting
  • Slurring or speaking softer, lower, or without your usual inflections
  • Poor posture
  • Constipation
  • Poor sleep

Recommended Reading: Does Parkinson’s Cause Memory Issues

How Is Age Related To Pdd

Both PD and PDD are more common with increasing age. Most people with PD start having movement symptoms between ages 50 and 85, although some people have shown signs earlier. Up to 80% of people with PD eventually develop dementia. The average time from onset of movement problems to the development of dementia is about 10 years.

Psychotic Symptoms And Others

In addition to the symptoms we already mentioned, other symptoms may appear in both diseases. For example, in Alzheimers disease, delirium appears occasionally, while it rarely ever does in Parkinsons. Its vital to remember that delirium is an organic disorder that mainly affects consciousness and attention.

Regarding psychotic symptoms, visual hallucinations can appear in both diseases, more or less in the same proportion. Delusions may also arise. They occur often in Alzheimers and occasionally in Parkinsons.

Don’t Miss: Parkinsons Dementia Life Expectancy

Things You Should Know About The Link Between Parkinsons And Dementia

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.

Prevalence Of Ad And Pd By Gender And Education


The prevalence rates of AD and PD for men were 2.30% and 1.20% , respectively and for women were 4.17% and 0.87% , respectively. A significant difference was found between the genders for both AD and PD .

Table 2. Effect of gender, education and setting on AD and PD prevalence.

In the context of education, the prevalence of AD was 5.39% for the illiterate and 1.92% for the non-illiterate. The education showed a significant impact on the prevalence rate . PD was not analyzed due to insufficient data.

Read Also: Familial Parkinson’s Disease


Popular Articles