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Difference Between Dementia and Amnesia

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Shukla
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dr shukla neurologist tx
Medically reviewed by Dr. Shukla

Memory loss is a common complaint when the patient is being examined for the first time. It can happen at any age, but the elderly experience it the most frequently. In some cases, the patient’s loved ones are more concerned about their memory loss than they are. Because memory loss or deterioration is a significant sign of dementia, amnesia, which is basic memory loss without any other cognitive deficits, should be separated from dementia. 

Medical professionals and individuals frequently consider memory loss a sign of dementia. But most of the time, memory loss does not precede the development of dementia. Around 50 million individuals worldwide have dementia, and nearly 10 million new cases are diagnosed yearly. Although it mainly affects the elderly, dementia is not an inevitable part of becoming older. This article will be about dementia and amnesia differences.



Dementia is frequently not well known or understood, which results in stigma and obstacles to treatment and diagnosis. Dementia can have physical, psychological, social, and economic effects on those who provide care, their families, and society as a whole.

Depending on the severity of the disease and the person’s personality before the condition, dementia has a distinct influence on each individual. Before we discover symptoms of dementia, there are three phases in the development of dementia-related signs and symptoms. 

1. Early-stage: because dementia develops gradually, its early stages sometimes go unrecognized. Typical signs include: 

  • forgetfulness; 
  • losing a sense of time;
  • becoming lost in familiar surroundings.

2. Middle-Stage: As dementia advances to the middle stage, the range of signs and symptoms narrows and becomes more prominent. These consist of: 

  • forgetting about recent events and names of individuals;
  • forgetting about the house’s direction;
  • emerging communication challenges;
  • the need for assistance with self-care
  • behavioral issues, such as aimless roaming and asking the same questions.

3. Late-stage: passivity and practically total dependency emerge at the late stage of dementia. Physical symptoms of dementia and physical indicators of memory decline become increasingly noticeable. These signs include: 

  • loss of spatial and temporal orientation. Self-control and social perception: people have trouble with time, space, or orientation.
  • trouble identifying loved ones and friends. Thinking and reasoning problems: a person’s capacity for logical reasoning is compromised; either they cannot defend their acts anymore, or their arguments are insufficient.
  • a growing need for assistance with self-care. Difficulties executing tasks: assistance is required with more complicated tasks like shopping, paying bills, and taking medications. 
  • memory challenges. Memory impairment influences forgetting knowledge, frequently repeating, having trouble finding the right words to use in a sentence, or becoming lost in a place they know well. 
  • behavioral changes, which may be worsened and include aggression. Speech disorder: a person may frequently pause when speaking, have trouble understanding what is being said, and use improper vocabulary or grammatical constructions. As well as visual and spatial perception disturbances: difficulties in identifying faces or calculating the distance between objects or people. 

According to research, people may lower their chance of developing symptoms of dementia. They can exercise frequently, not smoke, abstain from alcohol abuse, manage their weight, eat healthily, and keep their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels within normal ranges. Depression, a lack of education, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity are other risk factors.



Amnesia is a temporary or permanent loss of memory brought on by a disease, an accident, or a stressful environment. Memory loss, whether temporary or permanent, frequently happens on its own. Depending on the condition, a person may forget certain occasions and times in their life. As well, the symptoms of each type of amnesia are included.

Amnesia’s primary symptoms are: 

  • Memory issues: difficulty acquiring new information, recalling the past, etc. 
  • Perplexity and disorientation. 
  • Issues with information absorption and replication make it challenging to communicate and carry out mental tasks. This can suggest a decrease in the intellectual sphere.  

There are two types of the illness: retrograde (the patient cannot recall the circumstances that existed before the illness) and anterograde (the patient does not remember the events that occurred after the onset of the disease). 

Retrograde amnesia

Typically, it doesn’t affect recent events; instead, the most common occurrences of memory loss concern recent hours, weeks, or regions. A decrease in memory loss is typically a sign of recovery, although it is highly unusual for patients to regain their recollection of the moments just before the sickness started.

Retrograde amnesia patients have a perfect recollection of recent events but struggle to recall those from a week or a month ago. It is vital to stage-by-stage assess their recollections because this type of condition may not have an impact on far past occurrences. The most significant and challenging symptoms of amnesia are that many people have a propensity to make up memories to fill in memory gaps.

Anterograde amnesia

It is distinguished by a continuous period of memory loss, the length of which is directly correlated with the duration of the post-traumatic disorder of conscious activity. The length of memory loss depends on the amount of anterograde memory loss that has resulted from a brain injury.

Dementia vs. Amnesia: What is the Difference?

Dementia vs. Amnesia


Dementia is distinct from amnesia. Along with memory loss, dementia is characterized by major cognitive impairments. The characteristics of amnesia vary depending on the kind that occurs. Memory loss can take many forms.

Although both forgetfulness and dementia are altered states of brain activity, they are two distinct diseases. While dementia is characterized by a general loss of higher brain functioning, amnesia exclusively affects memory. 

Dementia Amnesia
Age is a risk. Dementia appears in older age. Age is not a risk. Amnesia appears in youth as well.
Impairment of cognitive functions. Memory loss.
The leading causes are genetics and heart disorders. The main reasons are brain injuries and alcoholism.
The process of getting dementia is slow. The process of getting amnesia is sudden.

Make an Appointment with Lone Star Neurology

Human cognition is the most significant human function. In this case, the only technique that works is a systematic one that calls for medications with nootropic, vasoactive, and antioxidant properties. Make an appointment with Lone Star Neurology doctors using this form if you have troubles that worry you.

We are a general neurology clinic that treats and manages a variety of neurological illnesses, including migraines, seizures, MS, and stroke. This is not a complete list of our practice.  We provide a range of specialists with medical degrees. 


  • Are amnesia and dementia the same?

Dementia is different from amnesia. Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, but it often includes other serious cognitive issues that impair everyday functioning. 

  • How is dementia different from memory loss?

Even though their symptoms may occasionally overlap, dementia and age-related memory loss are two distinct illnesses. While dementia is characterized by a general loss of higher brain functioning, amnesia exclusively affects memory.

  • Is forgetfulness always dementia?

Many individuals are concerned about forgetfulness. However, not everyone who has memory issues has dementia. Other factors that might contribute to memory issues include age, illnesses, emotional issues, moderate cognitive impairment, or another form of dementia.

  • Is memory loss a form of dementia?

While everyone loses some neurons as they age, dementia patients lose many more neurons. Memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion are some symptoms of dementia that might vary.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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  1. 19/11/2023

    I love this post….very seductive and helpful

  2. 17/12/2023

    Very educative

  3. 23/12/2023

    I love this post.
    Very helpful and informative.

  4. 23/12/2023

    This post is valuably informative.
    Now I have an idea what is wrong with my aged dad.

  5. 16/02/2024

    It’s helpful to learn that all memory loss as we age does not mean there is Dementia present. That is very reassuring as we continue to age.

  6. 01/03/2024

    Merci beaucoup 🙏

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