Is Alzheimer’s disease the same as dementia?
The term “dementia” refers to a syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms and signs. Symptoms are things that people complain about, whereas signs are things that physicians observe in patients. Dementia is the syndrome in which people have memory problems, as well as problems with other things that the brain controls, such as language, or paying attention. These problems should be acquired (opposed to being present on a lifelong basis) and progressive. They should also be severe enough that they interfere with a person’s ability to hold a job, or function the way they used to.
The syndrome of dementia has many causes, but the most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease. Other causes of dementia are dementia after strokes a type of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease known as dementia with Lewy bodies and a collection of dementias known as the frontotemporal dementias.