Word on Health

Word on Alzheimers

Our grateful thanks to the Alzheimers Society for their contribution to our radio report (which you can hear again via the audio player at the bottom of this page) and for the information below.  For more detailed information, help and support link through to the charity, by clicking here .

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The next most common is vascular dementia.

How common is dementia?  According to the Alzheimer's Society there are around 900,000 people in the UK with dementia. It is estimated that by 2040, the number of people with dementia in the UK will have increased to around 1.6 million.

What is dementia?   Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. 

Common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia include:

  • memory loss, especially problems with memory for recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively
  • increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require organisation and planning
  • becoming confused in unfamiliar environments
  • difficulty finding the right words
  • difficulty with numbers and/or handling money in shops
  • changes in personality and mood 
  • depression

Dementia is progressive. This means that the person's brain will become more damaged and will work less well over time, and their symptoms will tend to change and become more severe.

For this reason, it is important to talk to your GP sooner rather than later if you are worried that you may have problems with your memory.

The speed at which symptoms get worse and the way that they develop will depend on the cause of the person's dementia, their overall health and their circumstances. This means that the symptoms and experience of dementia can vary greatly from person to person.

Some people may also have more than one condition – for example, they may have Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia at the same time.

The symptoms listed above are common dementia. However, some types of dementia have other distinctive features. 

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of dementia caused by Lewy bodies, which are clumps of protein in the cells of the brain. Read more about what DLB is, and who gets the condition via the Alzheimer's Society website.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is one of the less common types of dementia. It is sometimes called Pick's disease or frontal lobe dementia. The first noticeable FTD symptoms are changes to personality and behaviour and/or difficulties with language. Click here to learn more 

‘Mixed dementia’ is a condition in which a person has more than one type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is the most common type. Learn more via the Alzheimers Society website 

For information on Young-onset dementia - click here causes and symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated. Di

Find out via this link about Alcohol-related 'dementia' including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, support and rehabilitation.

People with HIV and AIDS sometimes develop cognitive impairment, particularly in the later stages of their condition. Discover more here.

Learn more about mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and some of the main symptoms.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion infecting the brain. Click here to find out more via the Alzheimer's Society website.

Link through to the Alzheimer's Societies  introduction to dementia in people with learning disabilities. This section includes details of why someone with a learning disability is more likely to develop dementia, and suggestions how they can live well with the condition. 

Listen to this weeks radio report

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.