Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson Disease (With Table)

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are both neurological disorders defined by neurodegeneration, which means that brain cells deteriorate with time. They, like certain other degenerative brain illnesses, are connected to a buildup of particular proteins in the brain. Each of these conditions has its own unique set of symptoms as well as its own type of protein deposition in specific locations of the brain.

Alzheimer’s Disease vs Parkinson Disease

The main difference between Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease is that Alzheimer’s develops dementia over time, but Parkinson’s disease develops dementia more swiftly and dramatically. Parkinson’s symptoms of dementia can arise and then go on a daily basis, but Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms never do.

Parkinson’s disorder is a neurodegenerative brain condition. Parkinson’s symptoms frequently start slowly and increase over time. Parkinson’s disease damages dopamine-producing nerve cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the brain. Dopamine synthesis is reduced when nerve cells die or are damaged, which hinders movement. Parkinson’s disease may also disrupt neurotransmitters that govern bodily functions such as blood pressure, digestion, and perspiration.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent kind of dementia in older persons, is also a neurodegenerative condition. In Alzheimer’s, a substance called beta-amyloid accumulates within nerve cells in the brain, resulting in plaques. Tau, a protein, also accumulates and forms tangles among nerve cells. These neurofibrillary tangles disrupt nerve cell interaction. Stronger and healthier nerve cells lose contact with other nerve cells and then either stop operating or die.

Comparison Table Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson Diseases

Parameters of ComparisonAlzheimer’s DiseaseParkinson’s Diseases
DefinitionAlzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that involves brain shrinkage and central nervous system dysfunction.Parkinson’s disease is a neurological ailment induced by nerve cell degeneration inside the substantia nigra, an area of the brain.
CausesAlzheimer’s disease can be caused by a mix of biological and environmental causes, as well as an unhealthy way of life.Parkinson’s disease might be caused by a combination of inherited and environmental factors.
SymptomsAlzheimer’s symptoms usually include memory problems, difficulty doing everyday chores, uncertainty, difficulty identifying words, and so on.Trembling, body stiffness, delayed movement, decreased balance and coordination, depression, trouble swallowing and chewing, and speech problems.
 TreatmentCholinesterase inhibitors are being utilized to treat Alzheimer’s disease.Parkinson’s disease is treated with dopamine precursors that are administered on a continual basis.
Average Life ExpectancyThe usual life expectancy after a diagnosis is 4 to 8 years; however, some patients can survive for up to 20 years.Parkinson’s disease does not shorten a person’s life expectancy, although it might make them more vulnerable to infections or collapses.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is originally named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician who was the first to detect cognitive function impairment. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative ailment characterized by cell death as well as actual brain shrinking, or atrophy. It gradually deteriorates memory and cognitive abilities, as well as the capacity to do basic activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent cause of dementia, which is a broad term that includes behavioural and cognitive impairment that may limit your ability to operate as an AD patient.

The initial symptoms of the condition include forgetfulness about earlier events or encounters. An individual with Alzheimer’s disease will develop significant memory loss and lack the capacity to do daily tasks as the disease advances. Eating habits, smoking, severe brain injury, diabetes, and other medical conditions, as well as genetic and environmental factors, all increase the risk of developing this disorder.

Medications can temporarily alleviate or reduce the severity of symptoms. For a brief period, these medications may be able to assist persons with Alzheimer’s disease to improve their functionality and keep their liberty. There are several programs and efforts available to help people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

What is Parkinson Disease?

Parkinson’s condition is a progressive neurological disorder. It was named after James Parkinson, an English neurosurgeon who discovered the illness initially. Parkinson’s disease, like Alzheimer’s, causes neuronal degeneration. Unlike Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is defined by the destruction of neurons that synthesize the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine deficiency impairs brain function, leading to movement and muscular coordination difficulties.

Males are affected by Parkinson’s disease at a higher rate than females. It is most frequent in those above the age of 60. Despite this, around 10 percent of all people are recognized before the age of 50. The actual causation of Parkinson’s disease is uncertain. It might be caused by both hereditary and environmental factors. Viruses, according to a few experts, have the ability to induce Parkinson’s disease.

Decreased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that regulates dopamine, have been linked to Parkinson’s disorder. Lewy bodies, which are abnormal proteins, have also been discovered in the brains of Parkinson’s patients. Scientists are unsure what function if any, Lewy bodies have in the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Main Differences Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson Disease

  1. Alzheimer’s disease was titled after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German neuropathologist, while Parkinson’s disease was titled after English neurosurgeon James Parkinson.
  2. Alzheimer’s disease is triggered by a shortage of acetylcholine, while Parkinson’s disease is triggered by a loss of dopamine.
  3. Alzheimer’s disease causes dementia, whereas Parkinson’s disease causes permanent paralysis.
  4. Alzheimer’s disease may be managed with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and avoided by engaging in mentally stimulating activities, while Parkinson’s disease can be managed with continuous dopamine precursor and agonist medication.
  5. Alzheimer’s disease can sometimes be completely treated with medicine and surgery, but Parkinson’s disease is incurable.

Conclusion

Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are both prevalent illnesses that affect people as they become older. It can be quite disheartening to learn that you or a loved one has one or both of these conditions. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s illnesses are degenerative brain disorders caused by gradual cell destruction.

Each of these disorders has its own set of symptoms, stages, and treatment options. Dementia, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, is caused by the disease. Parkinson’s is a movement disorder that can progress to dementia. It is actually possible to be suffering from both disorders simultaneously.

References

  1. https://www.psychiatrist.com/read-pdf/12701/
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM2003ra020003