Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a broad term for any medical condition that causes memory problems and problems with at least one other brain function, such as speech, concentration, or more complex thinking involving problem solving, planning and organization. Two of the most widespread forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 percent of those with dementia, and vascular dementia which accounts for 20 percent. In 2017, 5.5 million in the U.S. were estimated to have Alzheimer’s; this number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050.

Although there are many exciting treatment possibilities being studied, there is not currently any way to stop or reverse the symptoms in most types of dementia. But because some dementias can be the result of reversible medical conditions, the first phone call should always be to one’s primary care physician to discuss the symptoms.

Though a cure does not exist, there IS current treatment with a medication that helps injured brain cells work more efficiently, and there is a second kind of medication generally administered later in the process that can keep some healthy brain cells from dying.

Because treatments are most effective when started early, it is critical to get an early diagnosis.

We’ve gathered the following information and resources on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to help you learn more and find the support and care that you or a loved one needs.

Pine Rest Services for Dementia

  • Living Well with Dementia: How Psychologists Can Help

    Living Well with Dementia: How Psychologists Can Help

    Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a syndrome caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.1 Alzheimer’s disease is the…

  • When Sleep and Memory Problems Co-occur: Which Came First?

    When Sleep and Memory Problems Co-occur: Which Came First?

    The relationship between sleep and memory/attention problems can be bi-directional. It’s sometimes not clear which is causing which, says Dr. Mark DeVries.

  • Memory Loss and Aging: Why it Might Not Be Dementia

    Memory Loss and Aging: Why it Might Not Be Dementia

    When older adults begin to notice their memory is not as sharp as it used to be, they sometimes fear they are developing dementia. This is especially true for people with a family history, who may think to themselves, “Grandma…

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  • Caregiver Resource Network. A collaboration of West Michigan organizations dedicated to providing for the needs and welfare of family and professional caregivers within the community. 
  • Free Memory Screening Day. Held annually each fall. Contact: 616.222.4500