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The symptoms of dementia can include:
Memory problems – People with dementia might have problems retaining new information. They might get lost in previously familiar places and may struggle with names. Relatives might notice the person seems increasingly forgetful, misplacing things regularly. However, we all forget a name or face once in a while and this is nothing to worry about. If it happens on a frequent basis, it’s advisable to visit the GP who can check why this may be happening.
Cognitive ability, i.e. processing information – People with dementia may have difficulty with time and place, for example, getting up in the middle of the night to go to work, even though they’re retired. Also their concentration could be affected. There may be a difficulty when shopping with choosing the items and then paying for them. For some people with dementia the ability to reason and make decisions may also be affected. Some people with dementia get a sense of restlessness and prefer to keep moving than sit still; others may be reluctant to take part in activities they used to enjoy.
Communication – People with dementia may repeat themselves often or have difficulty finding the right words. Reading and writing might become challenging. They might experience changes in personality and behaviour, mood swings, anxiety and depression. People with dementia can lose interest in seeing others socially. Following and engaging in conversation can be difficult and tiring, and so a formerly outgoing person might become quieter and more introverted. Their self-confidence might be affected.
Dementia can be seen as a combination of one, or all of the above symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, which have been occurring for a while and are progressively getting worse, then please arrange a visit to the GP. There are many other reasons someone might be experiencing confusion or memory problems, so it is best to get them checked out and treated if necessary.
To find out more please visit the Dementia UK website.
Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has revealed the actress has Alzheimer’s and her condition has worsened in recent weeks. He said they had gone public with her diagnosis – made in 2014 – because it had become “a lot more difficult for us to hide”.
Alzheimer’s often develops slowly over several years. And experts say it is not always obvious to begin with because the symptoms can overlap with other illnesses.
An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are affected by this most common type of dementia. So how can you spot the signs? It’s more than just losing the car keys. Alzheimer’s is more than just forgetting things occasionally. Everyone can forget where they left that cup of tea or people’s names – sometimes.
Forgetting stuff is also part and parcel of normal ageing. But these aren’t necessarily signs of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Memory loss is much more serious and is often one of the first signs of the disease. Short-term memory is usually affected, making people forget what they’ve done 10 minutes before or forgetting conversations they have just had.
Memory problems can also lead to people repeating themselves, or having problems recalling events that happened recently or struggling with familiar daily tasks, such as following a recipe or using a bank card.
To find out more visit the BBC Website
Daffodils grown by a Welsh sheep farmer could be used to help more than 225,000 patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Kevin Stephens’ flowers produce unusually high amounts of galantamine, which can slow down the progress of the devastating disease.
Scientists believe the daffodils, grown in the Black Mountains in Wales, have more of it due to the stress they are placed under having to endure harsh winters at 1,200ft.
The unfavourable conditions cause them to flower much later than regular species, which produce very little quantities of the chemical.
Mr Stephens, 51, has spent six years developing a method of growing and harvesting the daffodils to extract galantamine for use in Alzheimer’s drugs.
Four dementia scientists have shared this year’s 1m Euro brain prize for pivotal work that has changed our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
Profs John Hardy, Bart De Strooper, Michel Goedert, based in the UK, and Prof Christian Haass, from Germany, unpicked key protein changes that lead to this most common type of dementia.
On getting the award, Prof Hardy said he hoped new treatments could be found.
He is donating some of his prize money to care for Alzheimer’s patients.
Much of the drug discovery research that’s done today builds on their pioneering work, looking for ways to stop the build-up of damaging proteins, such as amyloid and tau.
Alzheimer’s and other dementias affect 50 million people around the world, and none of the treatments currently available can stop the disease.
For more on this story visit the BBC website