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What is dementia?

Dementia is a group of symptoms which include memory loss, mood changes and confusion. These symptoms are caused by damage to the brain and are associated with a loss of brain function. They affect people’s day-to-day life. 

What are the causes of dementia?

Dementia is caused by damage to or changes in the brain. There are several different types of dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. These different types of dementia all have different causes.

An early diagnosis may help people living with dementia get the right treatment and support in place. Find out more about the early signs of dementia in the NHS’s dementia guide.

How many people are affected by dementia in the UK?

In the UK, 850,000 people are currently living with dementia. More than half (52%) of people in the UK know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia. Up to 1 in 3 people can be expected to care for someone with dementia. Dementia care has a major impact on individual patients, families, carers and health services.

Why is dementia research important?

Dementia is a growing challenge and one of the most important health and social care issues facing the world. It is estimated that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and other types of dementia will double over the next 30 years

Research can help us to understand dementia and discover new diagnoses and treatments. It can also help us learn how to provide better care for people living with dementia, and how to support the people caring for them. The NIHR has funded a large amount of dementia research. In addition, through Join Dementia Research we help people to take part in and support dementia research. You can see the results of some of our funded work below.