HOW IS ALZHEIMER'S DIFFERENT FROM DEMENTIA?
DEC 14, 2018 @ 5.18 PM
Dementia is used as an umbrella term to describe a set of symptoms that can include memory loss, difficulty thinking, problem solving or issues with language and communication skills. These symptoms impact a person's ability to perform daily activities independently.
Professor Dr Tan Maw Ping (pix), Director for the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya explained that Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia.
"However, it is not the only one. There are many different types and causes of dementia which include:
Prevalence of dementia in people aged 60 and above
"The possibility of getting dementia increases dramatically the minute a person turns 60. By 80, the risk escalates to 20 per cent which makes one in five persons to have dementia.
"However, the likelihood of persons below 60 suffering from this disease is very slim, unless it is an inherited form," added Maw Ping.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition which progresses slowly. A person who has lived for seven years after the diagnosis deteriorate gradually, making it difficult for them to function independently.
According to Alzheimer's disease International (2014), the prevalence of dementia in Malaysia was 123,000 people in 2015. This number is projected to increase to 261,000 by 2030 and will continue to increase to 590,000 people in 2050.
Seven stages of dementia
1. No impairment. At this stage, there are no obvious signs of dementia and people are still able to function independently.
2. Very mild. Dementia signs are barely noticeable and simply appear to be forgetfulness associated with ageing such as misplacing keys but finding them again after some searching.
3. Mild. At this stage, patients are “usually able to do basic activities of daily living,” says Maw Ping which means they can perform their daily routines, such as getting up, going to the bathroom, getting dressed and so on without difficulty. Symptoms of dementia at this stage may include:
4. Moderate. At this stage patients have “trouble doing routine tasks such as cooking, laundry or using the phone,” explains Maw Ping. Other dementia symptoms during this stage include:
5. Moderately severe. At this stage, dementia patients will need some assistance with their day-to-day activities. Symptoms of moderately-severe dementia include:
6. Severe. “Caregivers have to help a lot more with day-to-day activities” at this stage, says Maw Ping. Dementia signs at the severe stage include:
7. Very severe. This is the final stage of the disease. Symptoms of dementia during this stage include:
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