View Full Version : I have 2 diagnoses of a complaint
15-11-2010, 1:35 AM
While researcihng medical diagnoses, I have come across the following:
While I was led to believe that these are essentially one and the same thing, how they are handled by a carer of a sufferer is different.
Never having any pyschological training, I have been involved with 'troubled youths' whether through 'physical' or 'drug or alcohol abuse'. Each requires a different perspective
Any thoughts on this topic?
The meaning of the terms is identical, but "senile dementia" is now thought of as perjorative and no longer used. There should be no difference in care.
I can't really see any similarity with your other example, although drug and/or alcohol abuse often follows as a consequence of physical (or mental) abuse.
15-11-2010, 10:17 AM
I was led to believe that these are essentially one and the same thing
I don't think the terms are synonymous. My understanding is that senile dementia is an obsolete term for a group of conditions of which Alzheimer's disease is one possible cause.
15-11-2010, 11:16 AM
Strictly speaking, that's correct. The National Library of Medicine's thesaurus "Medical Subject Headings" (MeSH) does, however, treat the two as synonymous, with Alzheimer's being the preferred term for retrieving references from the Medline database.
The other major cause (repeated small blood clots in the brain) is now termed "vascular dementia" to distinguish it from Alzheimer's.
Alzheimers and vascular dementia are both forms of what used to be termed senile dementia, although as davyr says, the generalised term "senile dementia" was often used to describe any form of impairment of this type in older people.
It was always a bit of an incorrect term anyway, as the diseases which came under the umbrella of "senile dementia" can also affect younger people.
I have seen people in their 40's with these illnesses and I suspect much younger people could develop them - especially perhaps vascular dementia, which is caused by small bleeds in the brain.
15-11-2010, 2:57 PM
Dementia is the umbrella - there are numerous forms under this heading and all are different - Alzheimers is one form of dementia - which often used to be regarded as senile dementia - if you go to the Alzheimers web page they will give you more information - there is also Jackobsen's disease, alcohol and drug abuse and numerous others - it is not a simple definition by any means. Even senile dementia takes different forms in different people.
15-11-2010, 4:14 PM
Might it be a question of degree? The early stages of Alzheimers would call for only a little assistance, while in later stages constant care is needed.
Psychological and emotional problems caused by drugs or mistreatment would be a different problem altogether, regardless of age.
I agree that they would have in common the need for individual assessment rather than being lumped in together and labelled.
16-11-2010, 9:26 AM
While reading the news on the news.bbc.co.uk site, I came across an article called "Can pigs and goats help people with dementia?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/health-11734324
A link at the bottom of the page to 'Headroom: Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia' takes you to part of the BBC website which I didn't know existed, but which seems to be all about mental health, with this page particularly about Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.
I quote: "Dementia is a term used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease, affecting over 400,000 people in the UK, but other conditions such as stroke can cause another type of dementia called vascular dementia."
With a close relation who has lost her memory, I'm glad I found it and shall be reading it carefully.
17-11-2010, 12:00 PM
This link should be of some assistance to you
19-11-2010, 7:33 PM
We now have some answers. We can now proceed to the next stage of life.
Thanks to everyone for your input and support.
Colin [and family]
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