Dementia is a brain disease that surface with the accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the chief type of dementia, adding 60-80% of the patient cases under its belt.
One of the leading signs of dementia is cognitive decline. It typically surfaces as a person climbs the age ladder. Most of the Alzheimer’s cases tend to be elderly folk. On the flip side, normal aging comes in the company of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or a mild decline in the functioning of the brain.
So, how can tell the difference between Alzheimer’s and aging when both strike as seniorhood nears and show (MCI) as its chief sign? Here are some major differences that can help you tell between the two:
- Differences in Communication
When it comes to normal aging, a person may find it hard to find the right words to express himself. He may also have trouble focusing on ongoing conversations. However, a person who is developing dementia usually forgets the name of different items.
He may end up addressing something as “that thing.” What’s more, an early patient of dementia experiences difficulty in joining chats, let alone losing track of them as in the case of normal aging.
- Differences in Memory
A healthy aging individual may occasionally forget things. However, a person who is steadily heading toward getting brain sick as he frequently forgets things. Moreover, a person who is aging may not be able to recall someone’s name or an event from some time ago.
However, a dementia patient may find it troubling to remember details of a recent event. He may even not remember his family members’ names.
- Problem-solving Differences
A healthily aging person may react slow. In contrast, a dementia patient ends up confused when it comes to problem-solving or decision-making. Similarly, an aging person may not be able to handle multiple tasks.
However, an early dementia case may fail to concentrate altogether. Lastly, normal aging means that a person makes mistakes while handling his finances. But, a dementia patient cannot keep tabs of his monthly bills.
- Other Differences Between Normal Aging and Dementia
An aging person may feel depressed or sad but a dementia patient feels frightened and anxious. A person who ages normally may misplace things but a person who is steadily entering into the realm of the brain disorder frequently places things in awkward places such as putting an object in a flower pot.
Furthermore, normal aging correlates with visual changes. In that, a person may experience cataracts. However, an early patient of dementia may face trouble in analyzing visual information.
One last difference includes the difference of tracking time. In the instance of normal aging, a person may be uncertain about the day or date but he may figure it out eventually. On the other hand, a patient of early dementia loses track of time entirely. He may not even be aware of the season.