J/601/3538 Understand the Process and Experience of Dementia

1.1 Dementia is a common condition that affects approximately 800,000 people in the UK. It usually occurs in people over the age of 65, but it can happen at any age, with the risk of dementia increasing as you get older.   Dementia is caused by damage of the brain.   The most common causes of dementia are neurodegenerative disease, for example, Alzheimer’s, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.   All of these diseases cause a person’s brains cells to degenerate more quickly than the brain cells in a normal ageing brain.   This, in turn, leads to the person’s mental and sometimes physical abilities declining.   The steady changes and damage to a person’s brain cells are caused by a buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain, which differ depending upon the type of dementia.   Usually dementia is not inherited, although some cases of Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia can run in families.   There are many different signs and symptoms of dementia as it affects different people in different ways, however, the most common signs include:
- Memory Loss
- Confusion
- Hallucinations
- Difficulty in making decisions and processing information
- Depression
- Aggression
- Sudden changes in mood
- Difficulty doing tasks that require concentration and planning
        Other causes include: alcoholism, brain injury, drug/substance abuse, blood clots or a stroke.

1.2 The different types of memory impairment commonly experienced by individuals with         dementia include frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe.   Frontal and Temporal lobe dementia usually are classed together under the term frontotemporal dementia.   This type of dementia is less common than other forms and affects the front and side of the brain.   These parts of the brain are important in controlling language, planning and organisation and controlling behaviour.   This can result in changing a sufferer’s character.   They can become more impulsive, outgoing and...