It is not always clear why some people get dementia while others don’t. It can depend on a combination of age, genes, lifestyle and other health conditions.  

Most types of dementia are not passed down (inherited) from a parent to a child. There are a few genes that will cause dementia if they are passed from a parent to a child – known as ‘familial’ genes. However, familial genes are rare.

Some things can increase your chances of developing dementia, including:

However, evidence shows there are things a person can do to reduce their risk of getting dementia, especially if they do them mid-life (aged 40–65).

Diagnosing dementia 

It is very important for anyone who has regular problems with their memory or thinking to be assessed by a health professional.

If these problems are because of dementia, getting an early diagnosis has many benefits.

It gives the person an explanation for their symptoms, gives them access to treatment, advice, and support, and allows them to plan for the future.

Treatments for dementia

Knowing the type of dementia (for example, Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia) is also important. This is because it may allow the person to get the right treatment, such as:

There is no cure for dementia yet. However, the right care and treatment can help a person with dementia live well for as long as possible.

A combination of both medication and non-medical treatments can help a person with dementia to keep doing things for themselves.

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