Is it Alzheimer’s or another dementia form? Why doctors need to distinguish
DEMENTIA word made with building blocks

Alzheimer’s disease now affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans, and after decades of feverish work, researchers have so far failed to find a treatment that halts or reverses the inexorable loss of memory, function and thinking ability that characterize this feared illness. But researchers have been quite successful at devising ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier and…

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33 Comments

  1. It doesn’t necessarily matter that you have a label for the kind of dementia you are working with, but if a proper diagnosis is possible, it can help the caregiver more quickly figure out how to manage symptoms.

    Reply
  2. We have had at least 3 different ones in my family since I was 5. In the end it is going to rob everyone. Need to find the root cause and help with lifestyle changes early in life, to prevent not just make meds to slow it down.

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  3. why o not dr.s warn the caregivers that Alzheimmer can come on really fast after de

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  4. My mom’s doctors said she has Alzheimer’s but didn’t give us the specific type saying it didn’t matter as it’s all treated the same. I still wish I knew though. I’m not sure if it would maybe help us to help her more?

    Reply
  5. Nope. Because it all ends up being the same evil disease in the end anyway

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  6. No…. my only real concern is quality of life. If a person with a certain type of dementia is smiling and a person with Alzheimer’s is not smiling who cares what type of dementia it is? My only concern would be how to get the person with Alzheimer’s smiling.

    Reply
  7. It was paramount since it was and is Lewy body dementia and the pills don’t work actually they really can be fatal

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  8. My dad was once misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s by a Neurologist little did he know that he had Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus that was causing the dementia, thankfully his primary Dr was not happy with those results & sent dad to a Neurosurgeon instead…….as soon as the Neurosurgeon saw dad walk in with a small shuffle walk he immediately knew what was wrong & scheduled him for a VP shunt surgery!!!!

    Reply
  9. with my hubby’s diagnosis, it’s a constant search for information and options. there is just NOTHING out there to help alcohol induced dementia, and finding programs that accepted him at age 50 was a nightmare.

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    • This is the saddest form that I have worked with I am so sorry..

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    • I never knew there was such a thing as alcohol-induced dementia. I always thought it was liver failure that caused toxins to go to the brain also known as hepatic encephalopathy. I assumed it was from end-stage liver failure from the alcohol. You have opened my eyes that is for sure. I am so sorry for your situation. My husband has end-stage liver failure from hepatitis and the encephalopathy is reversible but horrible.

      Reply
  10. I have a rare disease in my family called HSAN1E. One of the symptoms is dementia. The dementia is similar to Frontotemporal dementia( FTD ). Because it is not exactly the same the FTD researchers will not spend time on researching HSAN1E (even though it may hold the answers). Alzheimer and all dementia end the the same way. In my case it ends 40 years sooner then the others.

    Reply
  11. My husband was diagnosed with Fronto Temporal Dementia years ago. Then when we switched neurologists, we received the correct diagnosis. It is Lewy Body Dementia. Different from Altzheimers. It is also a diagnosis with Parkinson’s, which he has.
    Lewy Body Dementia is a very fast progression disease. 5-7 years lifespan after they receive it. He’s had it over 5 years. Parkinson’s has him bedridden, but still remembers us.

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    • Just curious, have you seen the video of the man w/Parkinson’s walking perfectly, after the CNA puts on some music for him to walk with? ❤️

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    • Kristi, there are many days we play music. My husband lost the ability to walk years ago with the Parkinson’s. His muscle tone is all gone.
      Ashley, all of these neuro diseases are devastating.

      Reply
  12. I think it would make a difference in the earlier stages, especially as new treatments are developed. For my father, putting him through tests would just scare him and really disrupt his routine. He shows symptoms that could be FTD or even CTE.

    Reply
  13. Diagnosis matters for planning. The author needs to read more about the effect of the medications. The current medications don’t “stop” progression – perhaps under the best conditions they slow down the progress.

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  14. Meds don’t halt Alzheimer’s, they just slow down the progression IF you’re lucky. But if another complication, like an infection or surgery with anesthesia, comes along, all bets are off.

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    • Yes. I disagreed with the article that with early diagnosis the disease can be stopped. Just not true. And the meds are just not reliable and really the “slowing down” of the disease is often imperceptible to the caregiver.

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    • Slowed down for my husband but then he had a kidney stone with complications and 3 surgeries. Has been in long-term care for 29 months.

      Reply
  15. From my experience, Alzheimers is much faster than other forms of dementia. Once the loved one is unable to communicate any longer, it gets tuff. For me personally, knowing that it isn’t reversible, and that it’s terminal is difficult. You don’t want to lose your loved one, but knowing they are gone emotionally and won’t be back makes the end stages the worst part, for me, even worse then the passing.

    Reply
    • Joy Oppenheimer Im sorry ❤️

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    • I lost my husband of 53 years last august to alzheimmers. He had to leave work and was. At home going downhill over nine years. In the end he was not able to stand, difficult to feed, dress and all else. Be sure to keep close with family and let them help. It helps them too.

      Reply
  16. There are so many different kinds of dementia. They are not all Alzheimer

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    • That’s why I read the article. But I didn’t see the different forms of dementia?

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    • You could probably Google “different forms of dementia” and see them there.

      Reply
  17. Yes, really. It seems to me all kinds of dementia are getting called Alzheimers these days.. not sure it is right to do. Not sure how or why it matters? Can one be somewhat treated? think of the singer who really had Lyme disease and is fine now too! Kris Kristofferson ..

    Reply

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