Misconceptions about dementia have held back our research efforts. Uncover the truth behind some common myths.
Dementia is very complex, so it’s no wonder there are so many misconceptions out there about the condition. But these misplaced beliefs have been holding us back from making breakthroughs possible. That’s why we’re going to turn some of the myths upside down, so we can move closer to finding a cure for dementia. Let’s bust some of the top myths!
Watch and share this film to help us challenge the misconceptions surrounding dementia.
Dementia is not a disease in itself.
Dementia is actually caused by lots of different diseases. The word ‘dementia’ is an umbrella term for the symptoms caused by these diseases such as memory loss, confusion and personality changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause, but other dementias include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.
My grandparents have dementia, so that means I’ll develop it too.
Half of us will know somebody living with dementia, so it is likely that we may have a parent or grandparent who has the condition. However, this does not mean we will inherit dementia too. Most of the time the genes we inherit from our parents will only have a small effect on our risk of dementia. In most cases our likelihood of developing dementia will depend on our age and lifestyle, as well as the genes we have.
Dementia is not just part and parcel of getting older.
While it’s true that the majority of people with dementia are over 65, the condition is not a normal part of getting older. The likelihood of developing dementia increases with age, but it’s not a given that an older person will develop it. And in the UK over 45,000 people under 65 have dementia.
People don’t die from dementia.
Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in the UK.
Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning a person’s symptoms will get worse over time. Early symptoms can include memory loss, difficulties with language and personality changes, and as dementia becomes worse people often lose the ability to walk or move, lose control of their bowels, and in the latter stages can struggle to swallow. This can make people very frail and more likely to experience infections or falls that they can’t recover from.
There’ll never be a cure for dementia.
Scientists are working relentlessly to make breakthroughs in dementia research possible. Their pioneering ideas will lead us to a cure for dementia and we’re moving closer to this life-changing feat every day. We’ve made great progress in other health areas, such as cancer and HIV/aids – we can do the same for dementia.