Dementia & Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Dementia and mild cognitive impairment are different conditions.
Dementia & Depression
As both depression and dementia can share very similar symptoms such as isolation, a declining interest in hobbies, social withdrawal, and detachment, the two conditions can be easily confused. Severe depression can also sometimes cause a group of cognitive impairment symptoms known as pseudodementia, making it harder for one to articulate their feelings associated with depression.
Dementia & Delirium
Delirium refers to an abrupt change in the brain characterised by a fluctuation in the person’s level of consciousness, psychomotor disturbances, memory impairments, emotional changes, and altered cognition or perception, that occurs over hours or days. Risk factors include the development of a physical illness, sensory impairments, recent surgeries, and use of drugs or substances (either prescribed or illicit). Delirium is usually reversible.
Delirium does not necessarily occur with dementia, and persons who do not have dementia can encounter delirium too. Unlike delirium, dementia slowly progresses over years, does not disturb levels of consciousness, is permanent, and has fairly consistent signs and symptoms. The behaviour of persons living with dementia is also fairly consistent on a day-to-day basis.
- SingHealth. (n.d.) Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): Signs and Symptoms. HealthXchange.sg. Retrieved on 5 March, 2021, from https://www.healthxchange.sg/seniors/ageing-concerns/mild-cognitive-impairment-signs-symptoms
- Barnes, D. E., Yaffe, K., Byers, A. L., McCormick, M., Schaefer, C., & Whitmer, R. A. (2012). Midlife vs late-life depressive symptoms and risk of dementia: Differential effects for Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. Archives of general psychiatry, 69(5), 493-498.
- Victoria State Government. (n.d.). Differential diagnosis – depression, delirium and dementia. health.vic. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/hospitals-and-health-services/patient-care/older-people/cognition/diff-diagnosis
- Changi General Hospital. (2019, January 10). Delirium: Symptoms and Management. HealthHub. https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/627/delirium
- Lim, S. C. (n.d.). Dementia and Delirium: Know the Difference. HealthXchange.sg. Retrieved on 24 March, 2021, from https://www.healthxchange.sg/head-neck/brain-nervous-system/dementia-delirium-difference