Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. These symptoms include:
- memory loss
- problems with reasoning and communication
- a reduction in a person's ability to carry out daily activities such as washing, dressing and cooking
The most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimer's disease
- vascular dementia
- mixed dementia
- dementia with Lewy bodies
Dementia is progressive which means that the symptoms will gradually get worse.
This progression varies from person to person and each will experience dementia in a different way.
People may often have some of the same general symptoms, but the degree to which these affect each person will vary.
As a rule, dementia affects older people, although it can develop in younger people as well, this is called Early Onset Dementia.
However, dementia is not a typical result of growing old and most older people do not develop the condition.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has produced The Brain Tour – an interactive tool you can use to find out what different parts of the brain do and how they can be affected by dementia.
If you're worried about your memory
If you're worried about your own or someone else’s memory visit your GP or speak to one of the relevant local organisations.
Memory problems do not necessarily mean you have dementia.