Dementia: The scale of the problem

World Alzheimer’s day is on Wednesday 21st September 2016.

It is an international campaign aimed to raise awareness and challenge the stigma of dementia.

Dementia means memory loss and difficulties with problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or a series of strokes.

It is thought to cost the UK approximately £26.3 billion a year. This is enough to pay the annual energy bill of every household in the country.

Currently, there are 850,000 people living with dementia, with the number constantly rising with the ageing population. Dementia risk increases greatly with age and is more common in women.

The two most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Alzheimer's disease, is a physical disease that affects the brain. It occurs when proteins build up in the brain, causing a loss of connections between nerve cells. This eventually leads to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.

In vascular dementia, the oxygen supply to the brain fails, either as a result of a stroke or a series of mini strokes, resulting in death of the brain cells

There are some things we can do to reduce our risk of getting dementia, however, we cannot remove this risk entirely.


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