Dementia is an umbrella term given to describe different symptoms or a collection of symptoms that may have different underlying causes but the one thing they have in common is that they effect cognitive (brain) functioning.
Our brain is probably the most complex organ in our body. The brain helps us to make sense of the world. Everything we think, see, feel hear and do is controlled by our brain. It is the control centre for everything! The brain is where memories are stored, emotions are felt, problems are solved, decisions are made. Our brain is the part of the body that makes us who we are.
Because brains are so important to our functioning illnesses or diseases that effect the brain have devastating results. Some illnesses effect our brains gradually, it may be a very slow process and at first we may not even be aware anything is wrong but gradually problems occur.
People who have dementia may start to have problems with remembering things, thinking, concentrating or even speaking. People with dementia may find it is more difficult to do the day to day things that have in the past done with ease. Their personality and behaviour may change and they may say or do things they have never said or done before.
Some people with dementia find that they have difficulties with their vision although their eyes are perfectly healthy. This is because the brain is trying to interpret the information it receives but because the brain is not functioning properly it cannot interpret things correctly.
Of course not everyone gets all of these problems. The most important thing to remember is that there are over 100 types of dementia and each person who is diagnosed with dementia will each have a unique journey, no two people with dementia have exactly the same set of experiences.
The UCL Dementia Research Centre is a hub for clinical research into various forms of dementia. Their work focuses on identifying and understanding the disease processes that cause dementia, the factors that influence these disease processes, and how best to support people with dementia and their families. In addition to their research, they also provide a cognitive disorders clinic within the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Alzheimer’s Research UK firmly believes in the power of research to create a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.
We fund pioneering research that will make a real difference to people’s lives – now and in the future. Read more about our strategic approach to research, our exciting big initiatives and search through some of our pioneering research networks and partnerships.
The UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, there for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They also campaign to improve public understanding of dementia and the devastating impact it can have, and make sure it’s taken seriously and acted on by our governments.