Swindon and Wiltshire Neurological Alliance

Helping improve the lives of those affected by neurological conditions in Swindon & Wiltshire

 

 

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What is Dementia?

Dementia typically leads to memory loss, inability to do everyday things, difficulty in communication, confusion, frustration, as well as personality and behaviour changes. People with dementia may also develop behavioural and psychological symptoms such as depression, aggression and wandering.

Types of Dementia

There are many different types of dementia and include the following.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer's disease changes the brain's structure, which leads to

the death of nerve cells. This disrupts the brain's usual activity. People with Alzheimer's disease also have a shortage of chemicals involved with the transmission of messages within the brain.
 

Vascular dementia is another common form of dementia and is

triggered by blockages to the blood vessels (vascular system) in the brain. Not enough blood and oxygen reach the nerve cells so

they die. Areas of brain tissue that have died in this way are  called infarcts, so vascular dementia is also called multi-infarct  dementia. It may be easier to think of vascular dementia as a   series of strokes that result from other health problems such as   high blood pressure.

 

Mixed dementia is when you have more than one type of dementia at the same time. A common combination is Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

 

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of dementia caused by Lewy bodies, which are made from an abnormal build-up of a particular protein in the brain.

Dementia can also occur in the final stages of other conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, AIDS and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.

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Symptoms of Dementia

 

If you have dementia, you may have some or all of the following symptoms.

* You may have memory loss, particularly of recent events. This

may not be severe at first but is likely to become progressively

worse.
* You may have problems finding the right words for what you want

to say.
* You may feel increasingly disorientated, such as not recognising

familiar streets and becoming confused about the time of day.

This could cause you to get up in the middle of the night wanting to

go out.
* You may have poor judgement, for example dressing

inappropriately for the weather or being unaware of dangerous

situations.
* You may become withdrawn, prone to fits of temper, or feel

anxious and depressed.
* You may have trouble thinking clearly and doing practical tasks

that you used to do easily.

Dementia affects everyone differently. Your symptoms may stay the same for some time or if you have vascular dementia, they may occur as a series of episodes with a succession of 'stepwise' deteriorations and occasionally some improvement after a period of getting worse.

 

Dementia

 

Name of Group

Alzheimer’s Society  Swindon

Short description

 

Local services for people living with memory loss and their spouses/carers.

Singing for the brain
Dementia Café
Social trips
Local forum involvement
Walking club
Pub Club
Life story groups

Contact Details

Kerry.henson@alzheimers.org.uk

People who have dementia can often have good quality of life for a number of years. However, the symptoms generally get progressively more severe with time. As your dementia worsens, you may find it increasingly difficult to look after yourself. It's important to get support from social services, your GP, family and friends

Causes

 

The underlying causes of the various illnesses that result in dementia aren't well understood at present. However, they all result in structural and chemical changes in the brain leading to the death of brain tissue.

There are certain conditions that may make you more likely to get dementia. These include the following.

* You're more likely to develop late-onset dementia as you get older.
* You're more likely to develop vascular dementia if you have high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms or have had a stroke.
* Your risk of dementia may be affected if someone else in your family has it. However, more research is needed to better understand this link.
* People with learning disabilities are at particular risk.

 

Treatment

 

There isn't a cure for dementia. However, for some types of dementia there are medicines that can treat your symptoms and prevent them coming on as quickly. The treatment you're offered will depend on which type of dementia you have.

Group

Alzheimer's Society

Short Description

(England, Wales and N. Ireland)

Web Address

www.alzheimers.org.uk

 

Contact Details

Helpline: 0845 300 0336

 

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