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Dementia / Alzheimers

Dementia is the term for a group of specific symptoms, not one specific disease. These symptoms can affect an individual’s thought, behavior and their capacity to complete daily tasks. There are many forms of dementia, each caused by different disorders that affect the brain. In general, dementia is more common after 65 years of age, however, can affect anyone at any age and is not a normal part of the aging process. Dementia is not commonly inherited however some causes of the disease may be.

Your doctor or a counsellor at Dementia Australia will be able to help if you are concerned about your risk of inheriting dementia. Some of the most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Vascular dementia and alcohol related dementia.
Common symptoms of dementia include
- loss of memory
- confusion
- a change in personality
- withdrawal
- reduced ability to perform daily tasks
These symptoms may be attributable to other illness or deficiencies so it is important to obtain a diagnosis from your doctor.

Seeking a diagnosis early will allow for other conditions to be treated or, if symptoms are caused by dementia, will provide you with early access to information, services and treatment for your specific type of dementia.
Currently, there are no prevention processes or cures for most forms of dementia however a reduction of severity of symptoms may be possible with some medications. Many aids are available to assist with the completion of daily tasks and enable the individual to remain independent for as long as possible. The support of families, friends and carers is invaluable and will also enable the individual to manage their dementia with an increased quality of life.

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