What happened to the 80+ diseases that causes dementia?

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A lot of people use Alzheimer's to mean any form of dementia. Kind of like "Kleenex" is a specific brand of tissue, but people use that word to mean any kind of tissue.

There are a lot of people on this site dealing with any and all combinations and flavors of dementia possible. Lewy Body, Fronto-Temporal, Vascular, Parkinson's, and on and on.

Ultimately at some level, it doesn't matter a lot which one your loved one has. We all struggle with the same kinds of issues: cognitive loss, toileting, dressing, bathing, eating, household management, sleep, etc.

There are boards here for specific dementia care as well.
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alan, I wouldn't be surprised that in the future we will find that what is called Alzheimer's is broken into several categories based on where the damage has occurred. At the present time we only have dementia diagnoses that are based on what caused the damage -- amyloid plaques, Lewy bodies, vascular problems, metabolic problems. Several Lewy body diseases have already been classified based on what part of the brain is affected.

Personally I do not use the word Alz in describing my mother, because she does not have the classic symptoms of the disease. She does have dementia, but who knows which one? She doesn't fit the symptoms of any of them other than having loss of reason and memory. The doctors have diagnosed her with dementia, but not a specific type.

The general public in the US knows little about aging and even less about dementia. The sad thing is that few people even talk about growing old in this country. I doubt many even think about it until they have to face the issues of aging in parents or self.
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Sandwich makes a good point; I recall reading at one time there were something like 100 different kinds of dementia.

I think Alzheimers has gotten a lot more publicity, perhaps because the Alzheimer's Organization is very active and brings the issue to public attention, but also because some notable people such as Ronald Reagan have had it.

If I got it, it wouldn't make headlines. But when a former President had it, that's headline material, particularly given the decisions he made and could have made. (shuddering as I think about that!) It also helps raise awareness for the disease, again more so than if just little ole me had it.
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