What is dementia?

The term 'dementia' is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke and many other rarer conditions.

Different areas of the brain are responsible for different skills and abilities. The changes in behaviour, memory and thought in people with Alzheimer's disease may be a direct result of the way the disease has affected their brain.

There are many different types of dementia, each with their own causes. The most common dementia symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, and changes in personality, mood and behaviour.

Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. How fast dementia progresses depends on the individual. Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way.

Symptoms of dementia include:

  • Loss of memory - for example, forgetting the way home from the shops, or being unable to remember names and places.
  • Mood changes - particularly as parts of the brain that control emotion are affected by disease. People with dementia may also feel sad, frightened or angry about what is happening to them.
  • Communication problems - a decline in the ability to talk, read and write.

In the later stages of dementia, the person affected will have problems carrying out everyday tasks and will become increasingly dependent on other people.

Find out more:

Getting help:

If you are worried about yourself, or someone close to you, it is worth discussing your concerns with your GP. For services in Manchester click here.

The Alzheimer's Society have a branch in Manchester offering a range of services for people with dementia, their carers and families.

Useful websites:


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