We offer practical advice and emotional support to people living with Dementia. As you come to terms with your loved one’s new diagnosis, you’ll be experiencing a range of emotions as well, and during this time it is important you have professional support.
We understand the changes both you and your loved one are going through. Following the initial adaptation period, we continue to work with the client and their family to help them continue with normal life. Our carers have necessary training and CPD to provide the highest standard of care to those living with Dementia. If you would like any further information about our services please get in touch.
Dementia is a word used to describe a group of symptoms including memory loss, confusion, mood changes and difficulty with day-to-day tasks. This happens inside specific areas of the brain, which can affect how you think, remember and communicate.
Types of Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimer’s is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called ‘mixed dementia’. Here, you will find information about the most common forms of dementia.
The information here is not intended to replace the advice of doctors, pharmacists or nurses, but provides some background information which you will find helpful.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes dementia. It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for about two-thirds of cases in older people.
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, causing up to 20 in every 100 cases. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; this is called mixed dementia. Age is the biggest risk factor for vascular dementia. Most people with the condition are over the age of 65. Vascular dementia occurs when blood vessels in the brain are damaged. This reduces blood flow to brain cells, which affects how they work.
Sometimes this blood vessel damage can cause memory and thinking problems that are not severe enough to be considered dementia. This may be called vascular cognitive impairment.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the third most common type of dementia. For every 100 people with dementia, around 10-15 will have DLB. This means roughly 100,000 people in the UK are likely to have this form of dementia. DLB can also occur with other types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease; this is called ‘mixed dementia’. DLB is caused by small round clumps of protein that build up inside nerve cells in the brain. One of these proteins is called alpha-synuclein and the clumps it forms are called Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies damage the nerve cells and affect the way they communicate. In DLB, the nerve cells that are affected by Lewy bodies are in areas of the brain that control thinking, memory and movement.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a relatively rare form of dementia. It is thought to account for fewer than one in 20 of all dementia cases. It commonly affects people between the ages of 45 and 64. However, FTD can affect people younger and older than this. Originally called Pick’s disease after the scientist who first observed the symptoms, FTD is now known to be made up of several different conditions. Your doctor may refer to these conditions by their specific names or may describe them all as ‘frontotemporal dementia’, as we will in this booklet. Frontotemporal dementia includes the following conditions: •Behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) •Semantic dementia (the word semantic means the meaning of language) •Progressive non-fluent aphasia – aphasia is a language disorder where people have problems speaking and writing •FTD associated with motor neurone disease Semantic dementia and progressive non-fluent aphasia are types of primary progressive aphasia. You can find out more about these conditions on the primary progressive aphasia pages. FTD is caused by damage to cells in areas of the brain called the frontal and temporal lobes. These areas regulate our personality, emotions and behaviour, as well our speech and understanding of language. In FTD, there is a build-up of specific proteins in these areas of the brain. These proteins can clump together and become toxic to brain cells, causing them to die. Three major proteins identified in FTD are called tau, TDP-43 and FUS. The reason for their build-up is not yet fully understood and research is ongoing.
While many people notice a natural decline in memory and thinking as they get older, people with MCI experience difficulties that are greater than expected for their age. However, unlike dementia, these difficulties tend not to get in the way of a person’s day-to-day life. MCI can be caused by a range of existing conditions and may or may not get worse. One cause of MCI can be the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. However, other conditions such as depression, low vitamin levels and thyroid problems can also cause similar mild memory difficulties. Some people with MCI find that their symptoms stay the same or return to normal. MCI does not necessarily lead to dementia. We do not have a clear picture of how many people have MCI. Research has suggested that one or two in every 10 people over 65 may have MCI. However, it is not always easy for a doctor to diagnose MCI, so it’s hard to know exactly how many people are affected
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