There is great confusion about the difference between “dementia” and “Alzheimer's disease.” The confusion is felt on the part of patients, family members, the media, and even healthcare providers.
In a nutshell, dementia is a symptom, and Alzheimer's disease is the cause of the symptom.
When someone is told they have dementia, it means that they have significant memory problems as well as other cognitive difficulties, and that these problems are severe enough to get in the way of daily living.
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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room