Dementia is a term used for symptoms like confusion, memory loss, mood changes and personality changes. There are a whole range of conditions that can cause dementia, not just Alzheimer’s. The most common are Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia and Frontotemporal dementia.
“Sometimes people will say to me, ‘Oh well, she has Alzheimer’s disease, but she doesn’t have dementia…’ But really, if you have Alzheimer’s disease and you’re showing symptoms, then you have dementia,” said Laura Phipps, the head of communications and engagement at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Dementia is just a word for the symptoms.”
There are about 50 million people in the world living with dementia. It’s the umbrella term given to the symptoms caused by various diseases – most commonly Alzheimer’s. This is expected to go up to 152 million in 2050, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Despite the massive impact dementia has on the economy and people’s livelihoods, there are still many misconceptions about it. There are also some facts that still surprise people.
We spoke to Alzheimer’s Research UK to find out what people normally get wrong, and what they often don’t know, about dementia.