The term ‘dementia’ is used to describe a syndrome which may be caused by a number of illnesses in which there is progressive decline in multiple areas of function, including
decline in memory, reasoning, communication skills and the ability to carry out daily activities. Alongside this decline, individuals may develop behavioural and psychological
symptoms such as depression, psychosis, aggression and wandering, which cause problems in themselves, which complicate care, and which can occur at any stage of the illness.
Please Note!. This website is under construction and not all pages are available yet. For sometime, we have run a website, www.my-dementia.co.uk (now renamed
devoted to dementia and Alzheimers's. Whilst that site deals with the progression and nature of the illness, together with the experiences of the UK care system, it was clear that as
the website developed that there was another side to dementia that needed more exposure. Specifically it seemed that there was a case for outlining possible factors that may
increase dementia risk such as diet and lifestyle for example, and to make people aware that the avoidance of dementia may well be in their own hands. This website will also report
on recent medical findings and current thinking on stabilising cognitive decline.
The word Dementia comes from the latin word 'de' meaning 'apart' and 'mentis' meaning 'mind'. Dementia is not a disease as such, it is an overall term
describing a wide range of symptoms associated with memory loss and thinking skills and all that it subsequently entails. It is the one thing that people fear most as they approach
old age. Yet it is the one issue that NHS classifies as 'social', possibly because there is no cure and they can't do much for the patient. Yet it is the one issue that deserves a lot
more more help. Alzheimer's Dementia on the other hand, is an illness, there is no disputing that, it is a modern day plague and the numbers are huge.
• Alzheimer's disease presents a gradual decline in mental capabilities, usually starting in older adults and marked by the loss of memory, awareness and response agility.
Historically, Alzheimer's disease was a diagnosis without a cure. Doctors were uncertain about how to prevent or slow its symptoms
• Crosswords etc. do not build up and immunity to dementia once the initial "skill" is aquired. For that matter this applies to any skill once mastered, it is
the aquiring of "new" skill and information that is the key to dementia-proofing the brain. Scientifically, it is the law of diminishing returns at work here.
• There is no medication cure for Dementia or Alzheimer's nor is there likely to be one. The brain becomes a failing organ of the body but the decline can hopefully be
stabilised in many cases. Drug Companies have been dramatically unsuccessful in developing medications despite massive potential rewards.
• There are currently no treatments that are able to slow or halt toxic processes in the diseases that cause dementia.The brain is our most complex organ, housed
behind the protection of the skull and the blood brain barrier, making it difficult to study, interpret and investigate.
• Because of the lack of a medical solution, over recent years there has been renewed effort to understand the causes of Alzheimer's as a possible means of dealing
with the problem. Studies have looked at various behavioural influences on the statistcal likelyhood of dementia and Alzheimer's level of risk. This website is largely based on the
• Years ago, people did not live as long (for whatever reason) and dementia was not that obvious. Nowadays, the benefits of modern living such as 24/7 TV, 24/7 food
delivery, processed food, an inactive lifestyle, increased pollution, higher levels of stress etc. allows us to live longer with an increased likelyhood of developing dementia in
• Dementia is not a natural consequence of old age. Of course there are other risks of contracting Alzheimer's other than old age such as head injury, sports (boxing,
football), strokes, neuralogical disorders and the ApO gene combinations. As time goes by, it is likely that many more types of dementia will be categorised.
• Lifestyle is important in the way we treat our bodies and the way we treated our bodies years ago. Alcohol, binge drinking and drug abuse in the young may be a big
dementia problem coming down the road in the years ahead.
• The brain is our most complex organ, making it difficult to study, interpret and investigate.
The advent of stem cell technology has meant researchers can now scrutinise how toxic proteins, such as tau and amyloid that build up in Alzheimer’s, spread between nerve cells. This
is a key question to understand, as we know these proteins and the damage they cause spread through the brain in dementia, and so this could be a crucial process to disrupt with
potential new treatments.
If you have a loved one with dementia, it is far better to care
for them in a familiar setting as long as you can, in that way you retain more of the 'person' for longer. However, being a carer for anyone with dementia is very hard work
but it can be rewarding as long as you are well aware of what dementia is and how to cope with it. Books, such as those in the slider above, are a good start and of course there is
more help available from Dementia and Alzheimer's organisations. From my own experience I would avoid doctors and hospitals as long as practically possible,
the NHS for the most part just doesn't know how to deal with Alzheimer's effectively and for that matter doesn't have universal facilities anymore. Of course at some stage a diagnosis
will be necessary so try to see a doctor trained in psychiatry of old age. There are one or two medications that can help
stabilize the condition but there are also memory enhancers
(eg. nootropics) available over the counter. Avoid anti-psychotics and anticholinergics at all costs for dementia. At some point however, domestic facilities will probably not be adequate enough to
cater for the later stages of Alzheimers so there is generally little choice but to move to a Care Home. Choose wisely and do the research.