FreeDem Films aim to address your fears about memory loss and dementia and provide practical advice about brain health. We understand that you worry about losing your memory and fear getting dementia. Each of our films answers a key question related to brain health and dementia that will increase your understanding of how memory works, allay your fears or inspire you to consider your brain health and take actions that will improve the quality of your life.

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Brought to you by the NEIL Programme tcd.ie/neuroscience/neil

The NEIL Program aims to develop, evaluate and deliver NeuroEnhancement to older people worldwide.

Failing cognitive function prevents millions of older adults from living independently.

Our Goal is to enable independent living and improve quality of life by:

conducting research aimed at dementia prevention and cognitive enhancement;
transforming this knowledge into empirically grounded interventions;
and using this information to educate and empower older adults to maintain their cognitive function for as long as possible.
See tcd.ie/neuroscience/neil for further information.

Enhance / Enable / Educate / Empower

What Is the Difference between Alzheimer's disease And Dementia?
Perhaps you've been confused by these terms in the past or mistakenly taught they were the same thing? Well you wouldn't be alone because knowing the difference between Alzheimer's disease and Dementia can be tricky. But it's actually not too hard to understand.
In a nut shell, it's like the difference between shortness of breath and asthma. Shortness of breath is not a specific disease, it can happen to anyone and has many different causes and asthma is just one of them.
Likewise, dementia is not one specific disease. It is a combination of symptoms that has many different causes including Alzheimer's disease.
Still confused? Think of it like this- You go to your doctor with shortness of breath to find the cause she listens to your chest to see if it's due to asthma or pneumonia. And then she checks your heart to see if your breathlessness is caused by heart failure or a very rapid heartbeat. She even asks if you've been worried because your breathing difficulty could be anxiety related. After her examinations she concludes that your shortness of breath is actually a nut allergy.
Similarly when dealing with dementia your doctor needs to figure out the underlying cause and whilst Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia it is not the only one. Dementia can also be caused by vascular changes in the brain, Parkinson disease, Lewy body disease, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid gland problems, chronic brain infections or medications. Even a very deep depression can look like dementia. Which means if someone you love has dementia, it doesn't necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer's disease.
This is very important for your doctor to establish because some causes of dementia such as infection, medication reactions an underactive thyroid gland and vitamin deficiencies can be reversible with the right treatment. So figuring out the cause and plan of action could improve your quality of life and that's why if you or a loved one have the symptoms of dementia, you need to see your doctor to find out the underlying cause.

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