Alzheimer’s Disease or Memory Loss

alzheimers or memory loss

Although Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss are two terms that are inter-related to each other but the fact is that they cannot be considered as the same. This is true that memory loss is one of the major signs of Alzheimer’s disease. There are some basic differences between the two. Only by complete medical examination it could be found whether a patient is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss.

Difference between Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease with a definite pathogenesis, signs and symptoms; a neurodegenerative disease is the one that is caused by certain degenerative process taking place in certain areas of the brain either physiologically or chemically, while on the other hand memory loss cannot be considered as a neurodegenerative disease. It can be a sign of other diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsonism or meningitis.  Also memory loss is not a disease. There is very little effect on mental health of the patient at the start of disease but the condition becomes worse with the passage of time. On the other hand onset of memory loss occurs mostly with increasing age or it is associated with other medical conditions. In certain cases the progression is not predictable, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible disease while in certain cases memory loss can be reversible. Dementia is critical in Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia can be considered as the impaired mental functioning of an individual, it includes cognitive impairment and behavioral problems. On the other hand dementia is not necessarily associated with memory loss. The loss of thinking, learning, writing and image perception are associated with the dementia occurring in the Alzheimer’s disease disease. There are also behavioral changes like mood changes, withdrawal from social activities and psychosis. All these symptoms are not associated with memory loss. Memory loss causes social and behavioral problems which occur due to forgetfulness but they cannot be considered as a result of dementia.

Memory loss can be of two different types. These are short term memory loss and long term memory loss. As short term memory loss is associated with loss of memory of events occurring in the recent past like name of a recent acquaintance, while long term memory loss is associated with the loss of information related to the events that occurred in distant past like childhood memories. On the other hand Alzheimer’s disease is associated with loss of both long term and short term memory.  Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss also differ in their causes. Causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully known. Research has shown that there are no definite causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Major factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease diseases may be genetic or environmental. Multiple factors are responsible for the disease. Real cause of the disease is not known. Memory loss, on the other hand is caused by definite causes one of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Other causes include stress, emotional or psychological disturbance, alcoholism, head trauma, drug abuse, sleep disturbances, malnutrition and many diseases like epilepsy, Parkinsonism, meningitis, brain tumor and cardiovascular diseases.

These points differentiate the Alzheimer’s disease from memory loss. But it is true that memory loss is the first and major alarming sign associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

On April 2, 2012, posted in: Senior Home Care by

Leave a Reply