All forms of dementia involve an irreversible, progressive degeneration of brain cells.

All forms of dementia involve an irreversible, progressive degeneration of brain cells.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month shares information and understanding

Though sometimes used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s disease is only one type of dementia.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, an important time to talk about how Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affect Canadians, including the 70,000 British Columbians living with dementia. Throughout January, people across the country will be standing up and saying “I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.” Read their stories and learn more about the campaign now.

With 70,000 British Columbians living with dementia, it is important to understand what the terms “Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia” actually mean.

Dementia is not one specific disease, but an overall term for a set of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia may cause changes in mood or behaviour. Dementia is progressive, which means symptoms will gradually get worse as more brain cells become damaged and eventually die.

The term “Alzheimer’s disease” is sometimes used interchangeably with dementia. While it is the most well-known form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is only one type of dementia. There are many other types of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and more.

In addition, some treatable conditions – like vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders or depression – can cause symptoms similar to dementia.

Learn more in this short video:

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia? from Sabina Brennan on Vimeo.

The material was created by Dr. Sabina Brennan of Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Brain Health with financial support from GENIO. © 2018 Trinity Brain Health. Permission to use this material was granted by Trinity Brain Health (trinitybrainhealth.com) which reserves all rights in the material.

What you need to know

There are many myths and realities about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, including that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are normal parts of aging – they are not.

If you or someone you know is experiencing memory problems or other symptoms of dementia, it is important to speak to your health-care provider to arrange for a full medical assessment as early as possible.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help

If you have questions about memory loss or dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help. Available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care, the Society’s First Link® dementia support connects people living with dementia and their care partners to support services, education and information.

Connect to First Link by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline, available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 1-800-936-6033 (English), 1-833-674-5007 (Cantonese & Mandarin), or 1-833-674-5003 (Punjabi).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

If you have questions about memory loss or dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help.

If you have questions about memory loss or dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Todd Richard recently released “Green and Blue,” a heartfelt country ballad thanking the frontline workers battling against the pandemic. (Screenshot/ Todd Richard)
Harrison country artist Todd Richard releases ‘Green and Blue,’ a tribute to frontline workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
Former Chilliwack man charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Prolific offender Kao Macaulay, 23, accused of breaking into home on March 30

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read