“Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Dementia Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
  • Dementia
  • Lewy Body Dementia
  • Mixed Dementia
  • Vascular Dementia

Terminology

Is dementia an umbrella term?

In About Dementia: Types of Dementia Dementia Australia explain:

“Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, of which the major symptom includes a global decline in brain function”.2

Definition

What is dementia?

DotS the definition of dementia may vary. Alzheimer’s Disease International’s definition is:

“Dementia is a collective name for progressive brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion”.3

The (United States) National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) definition is:

“Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities”.4

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition is:

“Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation”.5

Symptoms

What may be symptoms of dementia?

In About Dementia the Alzheimer’s Disease International elaborate on:

“Symptoms may include:
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying
  • Difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
  • Personality and mood changes”.6

Aging

Is dementia a normal part of aging?

No. According to the WHO:

“Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of ageing”.7

Cause

What may cause dementia?

In Dementia the WHO elaborate on:

“Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke”.8

Alzheimer’s Disease

What is the association between Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia?

In Alzheimer’s Disease the Alzheimer’s Disease International elaborate on:

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for 50%-75% of all cases”.9

In Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease – What Is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia? the NIA answer this and more questions:

“Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. Dementia is a loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning skills that interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people. Other types of dementia include frontotemporal disorders and Lewy body dementia”.10

Women

In women, how common is dementia?

On page three in Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause according to information quoted by the International Menopause Society (IMS):

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause for dementia. The incidence is age-related and is rare under age 60 years. More women will develop this disease than men. Around 36 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This figure is projected to more than double by 2030”.11

In the United Kingdom according to the Alzhimer’s Society in How Many People Have Dementia and What Is the Cost of Dementia Care?:

“There are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK”.12

What is UK?

UK can be an abbreviation for the United Kingdom.

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and dementia?

The IMS explain:

Dementia“Dementia, even more than cancer, is the principal health concern of many older adults. During the natural menopause transition and early post menopause, some women notice forgetfulness or other cognitive symptoms, which can raise concerns of mental decline. During the menopause transition, there may in fact be modest reductions in aspects of attention, but natural menopause does not appear to lead to poorer memory”.13

In Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. My memory is just not as good as it used to be, and it’s really bothering me. Does menopause cause this? Will it ever get better? the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:

“A. Memory and other cognitive abilities change throughout life. Difficulty concentrating and remembering are common complaints during perimenopause and the years right afterward. Some data imply that even though there is a trend for memory to be worse during the menopause transition, memory after the transition is as good as it was before. Memory problems may be more related to normal cognitive aging, mood, and other factors than to menopause or the menopause transition”.14

In Memory & Dementia: Menopause & Memory the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) also note:

“Perimenopause (when periods start to become irregular, and menopause symptoms begin) is known to be a time of memory lapses, poor concentration and ‘foggy’ thinking. Sixty per cent of women report memory complaints with menopause”.15

Depression

Is there an association between depression and dementia?

In Look After Your Mind Your Brain Matters explain:

“Depression is often associated with an increased risk of dementia. It is important to seek medical advice should you recognise the symptoms of depression and to look after your psychological wellbeing”.16

Prevention

How may dementia be prevented?

On page three in Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause the IMS explained in September 2014:

“Current evidence, unfortunately, does not strongly endorse any particular risk-reduction strategy but does support some approaches over others. Brain health should be bolstered through reducing cardiovascular risk factors; cognitive reserve should be increased through mentally stimulating activities associated with occupation, leisure activities and social engagement; and Alzheimer pathology should be attacked through regular aerobic physical activity. Depression should be recognised and treated, and women in their sixties or older should not start MHT. Research continues in this area”.17

In Brain Health the (United States) Alzheimer’s Association explain:

“Research is still evolving, but evidence is strong that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes, including participating in regular physical activity, staying socially engaged, and maintaining good heart health”.18

In Brain Health the Alzheimer’s Association also include the topics:

Health Care Provider

What if I would like reassurance I do not have dementia?

If you would like reassurance you do not have dementia, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Symptoms and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: Noticing Memory Problems? What To Do Next the NIA elaborate on:

“We’ve all forgotten a name, where we put our keys, or if we locked the front door. It’s normal to forget things once in a while. But serious memory problems make it hard to do everyday things. Forgetting how to make change, use the telephone, or find your way home may be signs of a more serious memory problem”.20

The NHS also note:

“As you get older, you may find that memory loss becomes a problem. It’s normal for your memory to be affected by stress, tiredness, or certain illnesses and medications. This can be annoying if it happens occasionally, but if it’s affecting your daily life or is worrying you or someone you know, you should seek help from your GP”.21

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Dementia?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Dementia?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: What Is Dementia? Content Reviewed: 31 December 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  2. About Dementia: Types of Dementia. Dementia Australia https://www.dementia.org.au/information/about-dementia/types-of-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  3. About Dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease International https://www.alz.co.uk/about-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  4. Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: What Is Dementia? Content Reviewed: 31 December 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  5. Dementia. 19 September 2019. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  6. About Dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease International https://www.alz.co.uk/about-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  7. 10 Facts on Dementia – Fact 1. Updated September 2019. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/dementia/en/ Accessed: 11 June 2020
  8. Dementia. 19 September 2019. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease International https://www.alz.co.uk/info/alzheimers-disease Accessed: 11 June 2020
  10. Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease – What Is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia? Content Reviewed: 30 December 2019. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/frequently-asked-questions-about-alzheimers-disease#difference Accessed: 11 June 2020
  11. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause. 2014:3 International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 11 June 2020
  12. How Many People Have Dementia and What Is the Cost of Dementia Care? Alzheimer’s Society https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/policy-and-influencing/dementia-scale-impact-numbers Accessed: 11 June 2020
  13. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 11 June 2020
  14. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. My memory is just not as good as it used to be, and it’s really bothering me. Does menopause cause this? Will it ever get better? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 11 June 2020
  15. Memory & Dementia: Menopause & Memory. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/memory-dementia Accessed: 11 June 2020
  16. Look After Your Mind. Your Brain Matters https://www.dementia.org.au/information/risk-reduction/look-after-your-mind Accessed: 11 June 2020
  17. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 11 June 2020
  18. Brain Health. Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/we_can_help_brain_health_maintain_your_brain.asp Accessed: 11 June 2020
  19. Brain Health. Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/we_can_help_brain_health_maintain_your_brain.asp Accessed: 11 June 2020
  20. Symptoms and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: Noticing Memory Problems? What To Do Next. Content Reviewed: 17 May 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/noticing-memory-problems-what-do-next Accessed: 11 June 2020
  21. Dementia Guide: About Dementia. Page Last Reviewed: 15 June 2017. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/about/? Accessed: 11 June 2020
Topic Last Updated: 11 June 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 June 2020
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