Advice and explanations about dementia testing, diagnosis, medical practitioners and medications.

How do we define dementia?

How do we define dementia?

Managing Editor

Dementia is a symptom, not a specific disease.

Leanne I. Hoppe, LSW, of in Bloomington, MN, has posted a great, simple explanation: Imagine going to a doctor with a nagging cough. The doctor asks you some questions, runs some blood tests, and then she sits you down and says, “I’m sorry to tell you, but you have a cough.”

The problem is that, like a cough, dementia can come from many different causes.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, colds, and diphtheria can all make you cough, but the treatment for each of those illnesses is vastly different.  Imagine trying to sleep off diphtheria or receiving IV treatment for a cold.

Dementia is a symptom, not a specific disease.
Seniors can get dementia from lifelong excessive alcohol consumption, syphilis, strokes, or Huntington’s disease.  They may have Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or vascular dementia.
Each of these forms of dementia has traits unique to them, as well as different methods of treatment. To read more, click here.

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Susan Grimbly

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