Dementia Vs. Alzheimer's — Different Types of Dementia -
Sep 25, 2021 1 min, 40 secs

“Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of diseases that are characterized by cognitive decline—and then Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia under that umbrella,” says Zaldy S.

“It’s very complex and the presentations vary from person to person so if you have two people and they both have Alzheimer’s disease, their presentation may be quite different.”.

It’s estimated that 60 to 70% of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the World Health Organization.

For instance, there’s vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, traumatic dementia, dementia associated with an infectious disease, and even alcohol-related dementia—just to name a few.

“The FDA-approved medications that we have are mostly for Alzheimer’s dementia because that’s the most common type of dementia and the one that’s most-researched,” explains Dr.

“For other forms of dementia—like Lewy body, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s dementia—there’s really no specific FDA-approved medication.” However, he says, a person diagnosed with another form of dementia may still be prescribed a drug that’s designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

“The reason is that Alzheimer’s can co-exist with other forms of dementia and treating it with these medications may help the overall memory or thinking of the person,” says Dr.

Diagnosing and determining the type of dementia a person has can also get tricky because some people don’t have full-blown dementia—they have what doctors refer to as mild cognitive impairment or MCI.

“Some forms of dementia have treatable causes while others like Alzheimer’s are also treatable, just not reversible or curable.

She says major discoveries are on the horizon in the areas of diagnostic blood tests for dementia, modifiable risk factors like air pollution, and risk factors that vary between different populations of people

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