What is dementia?

Dementia is a term used to describe an array of conditions that have an adverse impact on memory. People may thus have difficulties with

  • Memory
  • Thinking
  • Communication
  • Planning tasks
  • Coping with activities of daily living such as washing, dressing, cooking, etc.
  • Subtle changes in personality or mood

Dementia is a progressive condition, which means that the symptoms get worse as time goes on.

How common is dementia?


  • Around 900,000 people are living with dementia in the UK.
  • There are around 70,000 people under the age of 65 years living with dementia in the UK.
  • 1 in 50 people aged 65-69 years. have dementia and this rises to 1 in 5 for people aged 85-89 years.
  • 65% of people living with dementia are women.

What are the different types of dementia?

  1. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia diagnosis in the UK, with about 2/3rds of all cases of dementia.
  2. Vascular dementia is the next most common form of dementia (around 20%)
  3. Mixed type dementia (more than one type of dementia, for example, Alzheimer’s disease + Vascular dementia)
  4. Lew body dementia
  5. Parkinson’s disease dementia
  6. Frontotemporal dementia
  7. Few other rarer causes such as
    • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Multiple Sclerosis

What is young onset dementia?

  • Dementia is considered as being young onset when symptoms develop before the age of 65 years. 
  • There are around 70,000 people with young-onset dementia living in the UK
  • People from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds have a higher risk of being diagnosed with young-onset dementia
  • The most common causes are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, alcohol misuse, frontotemporal dementia, or familial forms of dementia caused by genetic mutations.

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