Health Disease

Alzheimer or meningitis how to differentiate between the cause of dementia?


Memory loss or otherwise called dementia. Usually, the sudden onset of dementia is caused by multiple reasons out of which the most common reasons are trauma to brain, neurodegenerative disease, aging and infectious disease. Alzheimer’s disease, a manifestation of aging, is the most common cause of dementia. Infections such as meningitis cause dementia suddenly in immuno compromised people. Whereas dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease is progressive.


Alzheimer’s disease is an age associated neuro-degenerative disorder which is caused by protein (beta-amyloid and tau) build up in brain tissues. The protein build-up is in the form of tangles and plaques. Which not only damages the site where they are accumulated but also impair the functional ability of the site of brain, where they accumulate. Moreover, Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to shrink and brain cells die. This altogether causes dementia. On the other hand, meningitis or infection of meninges usually presents with signs and symptoms of generalised infections such as fatigue, headache, fever, seizure, photophobia, drowsiness and fever. Bacterial meningitis causes meningitis induced neuroinflammation which in turn causes neuronal damage thus dementia as memory is stored in neurons.
Other difference is Alzheimer’s disease also gradual cognitive skills/ abilities impairment and interruption in ADLs (activities of daily life).

Alzheimer or meningitis

Methods of diagnosis

First, the subjects and cohorts were selected for epidemiological studies. Different types of studies were considered for meta-analysis. All subjects went through certain work up sessions for dementia. They were subjected to physical and neurological examinations. Heterogeneity tests were carried out on subjects.Certain criteria are set by NINDCS (National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorder and Stroke) and ADRDA (Alzheimer’s Disease and related Disorders Association) for proper diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in contrast to meningitis (being bacterial infection) which is simply diagnosed by blood sample (CBC) or CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) samples.


Research studies aim at performing systemic review and meta-analysis of data on the prevalence and incidences of dementia along with its causes in different regions of world. Researchers are aiming to carry out high quality research that can claim to be unbiased. Such research produces facts and figures that are widely accepted and cant not be challenged and every time when carry out produces same results.


High quality researches were carried out. These research works were expensive to conduct. Different organisations funded the research work out of which NIH (national institute of health) funded the most. NIH (national institute of health) funded Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia’s Research (ARDR) aims at finding the prevention, cure and care of Alzheimer’s induced dementia. The research strategy included collaboration with interdisciplinary team that include epidemiologists, neurologists, physiotherapists, pharmacologists, gerontologist, geneticist and others. Research includes studying diseased population and providing affective public health education, interventions and drugs. Despite taking precise steps while studying cohort, many sorts of biases are suspected that to many challenges during research studies. These challenges are called health disparities.
Whereas the meningitis induced dementia research claims to have discovered the molecular mechanisms of bacterial infections and neuronal damage. This suggests that such studies will find its route to successfully preventing and treating dementia due to meningitis.

Alzheimer or meningitis


Facts from all around the worlds show that over 6 million Americans suffers with Alzheimer’s and about 6.5 million people are suffering with dementia.


Results of systemic review suggests that Alzheimer’s disease is the significant cause of dementia along with other causes The analysis considered 9 research studies in Europe. The prevalence rate of standardized gender was calculated to 7.1%. Both case control and Cohort studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease is most likely to be the cause of aging associated progressive dementia.


Meningitis, vascular dementia, depression, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s disease and trauma all causes memory loss, but the risk is significantly increased in Alzheimer’s disease as it has high incidence rate in geriatric population. Thus, developed countries show high prevalence of aging associated cognitive problems. Moreover, the dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease will always be chronic and progressive whereas meningitis will be more acute and sudden onset of dementia.

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