What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella terms that describes a broad set of symptoms resulting from damage to the brain caused by diseases, injury or other conditions. Symptoms range from memory loss and difficulty with language to changes in behaviour and personality.

There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. This is set to rise to one million by 2025 as someone develops the condition every 3.2 minutes. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease but there are over one hundred different causes.

Dementia costs the UK £26 billion each year, more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined. Despite this, we know surprisingly little about how dementia develops and what can be done to prevent it.

We do know that the risk of dementia is higher in people who:
  • Are overweight
  • Are smokers
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Do not take regular exercise
Useful links to find out more about Alzheimer's and dementia. Links go to external websites:

Dementia Facts

  • Dementia is an umbrella term. It describes a wide set of symptoms including memory loss, mood changes, and problems with communication. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe.
  • There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK.
  • There will be over a million people by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051.
  • 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.
  • Dementia currently costs the UK over £26 billion each year.
  • One in three people over 65 will die with dementia.
  • More than 25,000 people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK are affected.