1. Dementia is not an actual disease in itself

The word ‘dementia’ is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms related to memory loss, confused thinking, and personality changes. It’s not an actual disease but is caused by diseases of the brain. The most common of these diseases is Alzheimer’s, but there are other types of dementia diseases that cause varying symptoms, such as frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies.

  1. Dementia is not just associated with the ageing process

Dementia is often associated with people over the age of 65, and although the probability of developing a type of dementia does increase as we get older, this doesn’t mean that it’s only an older person’s disease. Currently in the UK over 40,000 people under the age of 65 have been diagnosed with dementia.

  1. Dementia is not just about memory loss

Dementia is often only thought of as a disease that affects the memory, but it affects people in a lot of other different ways, such as:

  • Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
  • Feeling confused and disorientated in your surroundings
  • Unable to judge speeds and distances
  • Balance and movement problems
  • Difficulty communicating and understanding conversations
  • Changes in personality and behaviour

It’s also important to note that some memory loss can be a natural part of the aging process, so it doesn’t always mean that someone has dementia.

  1. Dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK

Only around half of the public in the UK (51%) recognise that dementia can cause death, yet it’s the leading cause of death in both men and women, with Alzheimer’s and other dementias now accounting for 12% of all deaths.

  1. Dementia currently has no known cure

Dementia is a progressive disease. It can go undetected for years until it starts to affect the brain in ways that become more noticeable to the person with dementia and those around them. There is currently no known cure for any stage of dementia but catching it early can make the disease easier to manage in the long run and lessen some of the symptoms.

  1. The risk of developing dementia can be reduced

Though there’s no cure, research has found that many of the causes of dementia could have been avoided by placing more of an emphasis on a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake, giving up smoking, taking regular exercise and managing long-term health conditions such as diabetes.

Staying mentally and socially active, protecting your hearing and wearing protective headgear in situations where you’re at risk of a head injury can also reduce the risk of developing the disease in the future.

dementia