Dementia is an umbrella term. There are several different causes of dementia. One cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is not a normal part of ageing.
The risk of developing dementia rises with age. This means that people are more likely to get dementia at older ages, but, dementia is not a normal part of ageing. It is also possible for younger people to get dementia but this is less common.

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There are many different causes of dementia. The most common causes include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. It is also possible to have more than one type of dementia.

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Dementia gets more common as we age. It is estimated that one in every ten adults aged 80 and over will have a form of dementia, this may rise to two in every ten in those aged 90 and over.

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Everybody experiences memory problems from time to time. If you are concerned about your memory please contact a healthcare professional such as a general practitioner who can help make an appropriate assessment.

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People with dementia can have problems with several different thought processes. It is common for memory to be affected at an early stage but this does not happen in everyone. For example, planning is another ability that can commonly be affected.

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Having parents with dementia does not automatically mean that you will develop dementia. Dementia is the result of many combined factors including lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your chances of developing dementia.

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Having plaques and tangles in your brain does not automatically mean that you have dementia or will develop dementia. Some people have plaques and tangles and never develop dementia, however, it is likely that having plaques and tangles increases your risk of dementia.

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There has been some evidence suggesting people who drink small amounts may be at lower risk of developing dementia. But, there are many things that influence people choosing to drink alcohol and this makes the evidence hard to interpret. Certainly drinking to excess increases the risk of developing dementia and there is no evidence that starting to drink is beneficial.

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It is not true that if you do not get dementia by 80, you won’t get dementia. The risk of developing dementia rises with age. This means that the older we are the more at risk we are.

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Dementia is a worldwide issue. The risk of developing dementia rises with age. As we are living longer we have more older adults in the world and therefore more people with dementia. This applies to high income countries and to low and middle income countries.

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At the moment there is no cure for dementia. The best way to minimise your risk of getting dementia is to live a healthy lifestyle.

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There are things that we can do to reduce our risk. The best way to do this is to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, not smoking and following the recommended guidelines if drinking alcohol. Staying mentally and socially active may also help. If you have been prescribed drugs to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol or to treat diabetes these should be taken in accordance with your doctor’s instructions. Living healthily is likely to be beneficial throughout life, however it is never too late to start.

Check out our infographics on how to reduce your dementia risk: