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This Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Reader's Digest Logo By Jessica Migala of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 8: First thing to know: How to tell the difference between dementia vs. Alzheimer's disease. Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms like impaired memory and thinking that interferes with daily living; Alzheimer's disease is a specific type of dementia (these are some of the <a href='https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/early-signs-of-alzheimers/1'>early signs of Alzheimer's</a>). <a href='http://www.alz.org/dementia/types-of-dementia.asp'>Other types of dementia</a> include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, <a href='https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/types-of-dementia/1'>frontotemporal dementia</a>, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.'Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia—about <a href='http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/'>60 to 70</a> percent of the time a patient with dementia has Alzheimer's,' says Richard Isaacson, MD, Director of the <a href='http://neurology.weill.cornell.edu/clinical-services/alzheimers-disease-memory-disorders-program/alzheimers-prevention-clinic'>Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic</a> at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The reason you hear about Alzheimer's most often is not only because it is the most common type of dementia, but also because 'the science behind Alzheimer's is the most advanced across all dementias,' Dr. Isaacson says.

Dementia vs. Alzheimer's

First thing to know: How to tell the difference between dementia vs. Alzheimer's disease. Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms like impaired memory and thinking that interferes with daily living; Alzheimer's disease is a specific type of dementia (these are some of the early signs of Alzheimer's). Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.'Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia—about 60 to 70 percent of the time a patient with dementia has Alzheimer's,' says Richard Isaacson, MD, Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The reason you hear about Alzheimer's most often is not only because it is the most common type of dementia, but also because 'the science behind Alzheimer's is the most advanced across all dementias,' Dr. Isaacson says.
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