Dementia signs and symptoms: Five things you didn’t but should know about the condition

Many people associate dementia with memory loss, but the condition can actually affect people in a variety of ways. 

From whether or not dementia is a disease to whether the condition has a bigger impact on men or women, Alzheimer’s Research UK has five things you need to know about the neurodegenerative disease. 

Dementia is not a disease 

The word dementia is actually an umbrella term describing a set of symptoms that include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. 

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common, but other types of dementia’s include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. 

Dementia is more than just memory loss 

A change in behaviour, confusion and disorientation, delusions and hallucinations, difficulty communicating and cravings for particular foods can also be indicators. 

Dementia has a bigger impact on women 

With more and more women living into their 80s, half a million women in the UK are now living with dementia. 

According to Dementia Consortium, 61 per cent of people in the UK with dementia are female and 39 per cent are male. 

There are no treatments to stop the diseases that cause dementia 

There are treatments available to help people live with the symptoms of dementia but at the present time there is no cure. 

Dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older 

The majority of people with dementia are over 65 but the condition is not a normal part of getting older. 

The likelihood of developing dementia rises with age but an older person does not necessarily develop it. 

There is no cure for dementia right now, but if it is diagnosed in the early stages, there are ways you can slow it down and maintain mental function. 

One of these ways is the MIND diet - a diet developed specifically to help improve brain function and reduce dementia which is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the blood pressure-lowering DASH diet. 

There are no set guidelines for how to follow the MIND diet other than to eat more of the 10 foods the diet encourages you to eat.

These include green, leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, fish, beans , poultry and even wine. 

But five foods, which contain saturated fats and trans fats, should be limited, as studies in the past have found trans fats are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.