Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, of which the major symptom includes a global decline in brain function.
It is a condition that has been noted in people for hundreds of years.
Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society. It was not until the mid 1970s that dementia begun to be described as we know it today.
We now know dementia is a disease symptom, and not a normal part of ageing.
There are over 100 diseases that may cause dementia. The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Although the risk of getting dementia increase as we age, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia. The term ‘younger onset dementia’ is used to describe any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65. To find out more go to the younger onset dementia hub.
Visit the pages below to learn more about the causes of dementia:
Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) dementia