What is dementia?

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What is dementia?

Our brains are amazing. They work hard to store memories. They help us to make sense of the world. They control everything that we think, feel, say and do. Our brains make us who we are.

Like all parts of the body, brains sometimes become ill. There are illnesses that stop a person’s brain from working properly.

When a person has one of these illnesses, their brain starts to have problems doing all the jobs it has to do.

The person may start to have problems with remembering, thinking, speaking or seeing what or where things are. They might say or do things that seem strange to us. They may find it more difficult to do everyday things. They may not seem like the same person they used to be.

Doctors use the word dementia to describe these different problems.


This information was updated in December 2017 and is due for review in December 2019. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.