About Dementia

Dementia is the name for a group of illnesses that affect the brain.

Common symptoms may include:
  • loss of memory - particularly short term memory such as forgetting events earlier in the day, repeating themselves in conversations or forgetting their way to and from familiar places. Long term memory tends to be remain quite good
  • mood changes – people with dementia may feel frightened, sad or angry about what is happening to them
  • difficulties with communication – people may have problems finding the right word for things or not be able to understand what you are saying or only grasp part of it
There are several diseases and conditions that result in dementia. These include:
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Fronto-temporal dementia (including Pick’s disease)

Around 750,000 people in the UK have dementia. It affects mainly older people, both male and female but can be found in younger people; around 16,000 under 65 years of age have dementia. The NHS estimates that currently almost 60% of dementias are undiagnosed.

An early diagnosis is really important. This can help to determine if any memory loss or confusion is due to symptoms such as:
  • chest or urinary tract infections
  • depression and stress
  • side effect of medication
  • heart or thyroid problems

An early diagnosis of dementia can help people to get the right treatment and support, and to help plan for the future. The symptoms will get worse over time and there is no cure but there are treatments that help slow it down or help people cope with specific symptoms.

For more information on dementia click on NHS, Dementia