Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
What is Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and is a progressive illness, which means it gradually impairs a person’s memory and ability to learn, communicate and carry out daily activities.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, such as vascular dementia, dementia with lewy-bodies and fronto-temporal dementia, affect 1 in 14 people over the age of 65, and 1 in 6 over the age of 80. Although age is seen as the greatest risk factor for dementia, it is estimated that there are over 16,000 people in the UK with young onset dementia under the age of 65.
People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulties remembering things and experience problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses they might become confused, more withdrawn as they are less able to communicate, find it difficult to carry out everyday tasks or experience mood swings driven by their increasing memory loss. Some individuals with Alzheimer’s disease can also experience changes in personality and behaviour, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations.
While Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by some common symptoms, it is important to consider that everyone is unique and will experience it in their own way.