Facts About Dementia
Date Posted: 26.03.2012
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe various conditions which damage brain cells and lead to a loss of brain function over time. Dementia causes a progressive decline in a person's mental functioning. It is a broad term, which describes a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions
Dementia usually has an insidious onset, with most people developing symptoms gradually over a period of years. The progression of these diseases is largely unpredictable for each individual. How and what symptoms develop depend on what parts of the brain are affected by which illness, and the unique characteristics of each individual.
• Dementia has a life changing physical, emotional and mental impacted on the affected person and their primary carer and family. There are more than 100 conditions that cause dementia.
• While the risk of dementia increases with age, dementia is not a natural part of ageing.
• Dementia affects almost 44,000 people and touches the lives of 50,000 carers and hundreds of thousands of family members.
• Estimates suggest that within 20 years the numbers of people affected will double and bby 2036 104,000 people will be affected.
• Dementia affects approximately one in 20 of people aged over 65 years. This rises to one in four in the 80 plus age group.
• While it is comparatively rare, dementia can affect younger people. There are approximately 4,000 people under the age of 65 with Younger Onset Dementia in the Ireland.
• A person with dementia will live for an average of four to eight years, depending on their age at diagnosis. Average life span will also be affected by gender, other medical conditions and the severity of dementia at the time of diagnosis.
• Dementia ranks as the fourth leading cause of death among the population aged 65 years and over.
• Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia in Ireland, accounts for 66% of all cases; the second most common form is vascular dementia, which may be preventable.
• Alzheimer's Disease is named after the German Psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer, who in 1906 first described the changes caused by the condition.
Source : www.alzheimers.ie