Dementia is not something that just happens to everyone as they get older. It is caused by different illnesses.

Our brains control almost everything we think, feel, say and do. They also store our memories for us.

There are illnesses that stop a person’s brain from working properly. When a person has one of these illnesses, they may have problems remembering, thinking and speaking. They might say or do things that seem strange to others, and find it harder to do everyday things. They may not seem like the person they used to be.

Doctors use the word dementia to describe these different problems.

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Most people with dementia have Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia but there are other types too.

Alzheimer’s disease

The word dementia is used to describe a group of symptoms – these include memory loss, confusion, mood changes and communication difficulties. Dementia is caused by diseases that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

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Mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment or MCI is a condition where people experience memory and thinking problems. It is not a type of dementia but for some people it can lead to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

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Posterior cortical atrophy

Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a rare form of dementia that usually begins by affecting a person’s vision. It is also known as Benson’s syndrome.

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Primary progressive aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a type of dementia, caused by damage to parts of the brain that control our language, personality, emotions and behaviour.

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Dementia with Lewy bodies

Dementia with Lewy bodies is the third most common cause of dementia.

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Frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia also called FTD rarer type of dementia caused by a build up of proteins, tau, FUS and TDP-43, in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.

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Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia, for every 100 people with dementia, 20 of those will have vascular dementia.

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All about dementia

This information is for anyone who wants to know more about dementia and the diseases that cause it. This includes people living with dementia, their carers, friends and family.

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Dementia Research Infoline

Want to know more about current research? Keen to get involved in research projects?

Contact the Dementia Research Infoline,

9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

0300 111 5 111

[email protected]