older couple outdoors talking

Dementia is a progressive disorder that affects how your brain works and in particular the ability to remember, think and reason.

As we get older, many of us notice our brain is not as agile and our memory not as sharp as it used to be. It's a common observation, but many of us wonder if these memory problems could be an early sign of dementia. 

Here we look at what is known about dementia, symptoms that could suggest you should seek further advice, steps to reaching a diagnosis, and where you or your family can go for more specialist information about dementia treatment and support.

Dementia is predominantly a condition that affects older people although it affects people under 65 too. It is estimated that there are around 800,000 in the UK with dementia.

If dementia is diagnosed early enough there are lots of things that can be done to help you live well with dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease in itself - but a group of symptoms that may accompany conditions that affect your brain.

The most common of these is Alzheimer’s disease. Another is vascular dementia which can develop following a stroke or if there is blood vessel damage that interrupts the supply of blood to your brain. Dementia is not a normal consequence of growing old.

Where next...?

How do you recognise the symptoms of dementia?

How is dementia diagnosed and treated?

Am I or a family member at risk of dementia?

Further help and support with dementia

We talk to 4 people who deal with dementia on a daily basis

How music can help fight dementia

How dementia changed John Suchet's life

Actress Susan Hampshire talks about caring for husband

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Age UK Advice:
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Useful websites

  • The Health A-Z section of this website contains information on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of many types of illnesses. It also includes video interviews with specialists and patients.

  • The Alzheimer's Society works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

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