Clearing up confusion over dementia symptoms, Alzheimer'sBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-symptoms/MY01547
- With Mayo Clinic health education outreach coordinator
Angela Lunderead biographyclose window
Angela LundeAngela LundeAngela Lunde is a dementia education specialist in the education core of Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The transfer of information about dementias, as well as understanding the need for participation in clinical trials, is an essential component of the education core.
Angela is a member of the Alzheimer's Association board of directors and co-chair of the annual Minnesota Dementia Conference. She is a member of the Dementia Behavior Assessment and Response Team (D-BART), a multidisciplinary outreach service assisting professional and family caregivers in understanding and managing difficult behaviors often present in dementia. She facilitates several support groups, including Memory Club, an early-stage education and support series, and more recently, helped to develop and now deliver Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking (HABIT), a 10-day cognitive rehab and wellness program for people with mild cognitive impairment.
Angela takes a personal interest in understanding the complex changes that take place within relationships and among families when dementia is present. She is particularly interested in providing innovative and accessible ways for people with dementia and their families to receive information and participate in valuable programs that promote well-being.
"Amid a devastating disease, there are tools, therapies, programs and ways to cope, and it is vital that families are connected to these resources," she says.
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Oct. 19, 2010
Clearing up confusion over dementia symptoms, Alzheimer's
By Angela Lunde
Let's clear up some confusion about "dementia" and "Alzheimer's disease." The words are sometimes used interchangeably, or people think that if they are told they have dementia that means they don't have Alzheimer's.
Dementia is not a specific disease. Dementia is simply a word for a group of symptoms that affect cognition and thinking. These symptoms can include:
- Language difficulties
- Confusion with time and place
- Decreased judgment
- Personality changes
These symptoms can be caused by conditions that include underactive thyroid, vitamin deficiency, brain tumors and depression. Even certain medications can cause dementia symptoms.
If these conditions are present and treated, dementia symptoms often improve. However, if during an evaluation these reversible causes of dementia symptoms are ruled out then the probable cause may be due to a progressive, non-reversible disease such Alzheimer's, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia or vascular dementia. For a description of each of these causes, please see the dementia article in the See Also area below.blog index