Dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. A syndrome is a group of symptoms that doesn’t have a definitive diagnosis. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affects mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning.
Dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s disease can fall under. It can occur due to a variety of conditions—the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is the term applied to a group of symptoms that negatively impact memory, but Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function. The exact cause is unknown, and no cure is available. (Healthline, 2017).
A person with dementia may have difficulty remembering words or communicating clearly. You might notice patterns in conversations, including:
- Having trouble with finding the right word
- Substituting words
- Describing an object rather than naming it
- Repeating words, stories or questions
- Mixing unrelated ideas or phrases together
- Losing a train of thought
- Speaking less often
- Reverting to a first language (Self, 2019).
To learn more about different variations of demention, please read the Healthline page about Dementia.