This links to the Alzheimer’s socienty website about dementia.
They are worthy national charity.
Their website gives access to good resources about dementia and advice for the carers and they have many videos on youtube to help you understand the condition..
Facts about dementia
- In Nottingham City there over 2,500 people predicted to have dementia
- Dementia can affect both men and women
- Dementia mainly affects older people. However, it can affect younger people: there are about 55 people in Nottingham under the age of 65 who have dementia
What is dementia?
‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a number of illnesses where there is a progressive decline in multiple areas of function, these include 80% Mixed Alzheimers disease & vascular disease, 10%-15 % dementia with lewy bodies. Alcohol,Creutzfeld-Jacob, HIV, degenerative / toxic causes account for up to 5%. Fronto-temporal disease ( Pick’s disease ) is common in the young.
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Loss of memory − for example, forgetting the way home from the shops, or being unable to remember names and places, or what happened earlier the same day
- Mood changes
- Communication problems − a decline in the ability to talk, read and write
- Decline in reasoning
(WHO ICD-10 DCR 1993)
Sufficient to interfere with everyday activities but not to preclude independent living.
Problems mostly learning new material.
Difficulty taking in, retaining and recalling matters of everyday life, such as where things have been put, social arrangements or information from family.
Memory loss a serious handicap to everyday living.
Only very familiar material retained. New information retained only occasionally or briefly.
Unable to recall basic information on local geography, recent activities and names of
Complete inability to learn new information.
Only fragments of previously learned information remain.
Unable to recognise even close relatives.
Other cognitive functions:
Judgement and thinking. Planning and reasoning. Processing of information.
Impaired performance in activities of daily living (ADL), but not to a degree that makes the individual dependent on others.
Complicated tasks cannot be undertaken.
Unable to function in ADL without the assistance of another.
Only simple chores can be performed.
Activities are restricted and poorly sustained.
There is an absence (or virtual absence) of intelligible ideas.
Non-cognitive psychological symptoms are common. These may include:
Agitation and restlessness
Loss of motivation
Inappropriate social and sexual behaviour
Suspiciousness and paranoia
Physical symptoms (mostly in the later stages)
Malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration
Established non-modifiable risk factors for dementia in general and Alzheimer’s disease in particular include advancing age, genotype, female gender, and having a learning disability. Those with Down’s syndrome are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, with an age of onset between 30 and 40 years,
younger than the general population. Dementia also develops in between 30-70% of people with Parkinson’s disease depending on duration and age.
Established potentially modifiable risk factors include hypertension, excessive alcohol consumption, diabetes, depression and head injury. Other potentially modifiable risk factors may include obesity, raised homocysteine levels and raised cholesterol levels. Vascular dementia risk factors are stroke, hypertension,
diabetes and smoking.
Estimates suggest that delaying the onset of dementia by 5 years would half its prevalence.1 The evidence for protective factors/preventive strategies for dementia remains inconsistent. Prior long-term use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, control of vascular risk factors, regular exercise and engagement in leisure
and cognitively stimulating activities may be protective factors.
Key prevention messages are :
- Mind your brain – keep your brain active
- Mind your diet – eat healthily
- Mind your body – be physically active
- Mind your health checks – manage blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar and weight.
- Mind your social life – participate in social activities.
- Mind your habits – avoid tobacco smoke and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Mind your head – protect your head from injury.