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Doctors say Jim does not have Alzheimers.

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I agree. I have been told that my mother has the type of dementia brought on by mini strokes, not Alzheimers. The difference is that the expected length of the illness for Alzheimers does not apply to this type. The length of the process is dependent on further strokes. The treatments are the same and the end result, sadly, is the same for both; individuals decline and forget how to do everything.
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From what I understand all Alzheimer's is dementia but not all dementia is Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's typically has an earlier age of onset with progression. Dementia, impaired cognitive functioning including short term memory loss and loss of orientation to person place and time are symptoms of Alzheimer's. There is no other underlying cause for the symptoms. Dementia is a much broader term that can be applied to those with acute problems such as a urinary tract infection or imbalance of meds. Some diseases such as Parkinson's often have a component of dementia. Multiple brain trauma or vessel can result in permanent dementia. While dementia is seen with aging there should be an underlying process identyfied, it is not "normal". Many academic centers now have "brain functioning clinics" associated with there neurological and/or geriatric centers to help patients function at there highest level. With all that said your best resources for working with dementia is found with the Alzheimers groups. They have lots of information to help and it doesn't matter if it is dementia related to Alzheimers or something else.
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The is a difference between the two, but it is a blurry line.

As far as I understand, Alzhiemer's is a more definitive diagnosis, but still vague, and can cause memory loss AND dementia, whereas Dementia is more of a symptomatic problem and can be caused by a few other things as well as Alzhiemer's, For example, my mom suffers Dementia brought on by Multiple TIAs (mini-strokes) but she has NOT been diagnosed with Alhiemer's, although all of the symptoms are there.

I'd like to hear what others who know more about it have to say.
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