10 facts about dementia and how it affects people

This Is Local London: Dementia affects 800,000 people in the UK. Picture supplied by the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia affects 800,000 people in the UK. Picture supplied by the Alzheimer’s Society

HOW much do you know about dementia?

With the National Dementia Awards being held today as part of the eighth UK Dementia Congress, now is a good time to learn about this syndrome which affects 800,000 people in the UK.

Here are 10 facts on dementia:

  • Dementia is not a single disease but rather different brain disorders that trigger a loss of function. There are more than 100 conditions that cause dementia. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe.
  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.
  • Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
  • Though it can be treatable to some degree, there is no cure for any type of dementia.
  • It is forecast the number of people with dementia in the UK will rise to more than a million by 2021 and 1.7 million by 2050.
  • Dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, but can occur in younger people. There are more than 17,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.
  • Dementia costs the UK more than £23 billion a year, and this figure will rise to £27 billion per annum by 2018. Unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia save the economy £8 billion a year.
  • Dementia ranks fourth in the leading cause of death among the population aged 65 years and over.
  • Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year. Alzheimer’s Society says the government invests eight times less in dementia research than cancer research.
  • Advice and information is available from the Alzheimer's Society national dementia helpline on 0300 222 1122.

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