HOW much do you know about dementia?

With the National Dementia Awards being held today as part of the eighth UK Dementia Congress, now is a good time to learn about this syndrome which affects 800,000 people in the UK.

Here are 10 facts on dementia:

  • Dementia is not a single disease but rather different brain disorders that trigger a loss of function. There are more than 100 conditions that cause dementia. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe.
  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.
  • Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
  • Though it can be treatable to some degree, there is no cure for any type of dementia.
  • It is forecast the number of people with dementia in the UK will rise to more than a million by 2021 and 1.7 million by 2050.
  • Dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, but can occur in younger people. There are more than 17,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.
  • Dementia costs the UK more than £23 billion a year, and this figure will rise to £27 billion per annum by 2018. Unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia save the economy £8 billion a year.
  • Dementia ranks fourth in the leading cause of death among the population aged 65 years and over.
  • Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year. Alzheimer’s Society says the government invests eight times less in dementia research than cancer research.
  • Advice and information is available from the Alzheimer's Society national dementia helpline on 0300 222 1122.