Understanding dementia

Dementia is a term used to describe a variety of brain disorders that include symptoms such as loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding, and changes in mood and behaviour.

These symptoms may affect a person’s ability to function at work, in social relationships or in day-to-day activities. Sometimes symptoms of dementia can be caused by conditions that may be treatable, such as depression, thyroid disease, infections or drug interactions. If the symptoms are not treatable and progress over time, they may be due to damage to the nerve cells in the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, which causes thinking and memory to become seriously impaired. It is the most common form of dementia.