Memory problems can be symptoms of many things, for example, stress, anxiety, depression or the side effects of medication. It is common for people of all ages to experience forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is not being able to remember something at a specific time, but probably being able to recall it later. Warning signs of dementia may include:
- progressive memory loss
- difficulty performing familiar tasks
- disorientation of time and place
- impairment of judgement
- problems with abstract thinking
- problems with language
- problems misplacing things
- changes in personality, mood or behaviour
- loss of initiative
If you think any of these apply to you or a loved one, please contact your GP or your local Alzheimers New Zealand organisation. The sooner you tackle memory and cognition problems and seek appropriate help, the better.
No one single factor has been determined as the cause of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It is likely a combination of factors, including age, genetic inheritance and environmental factors.
Alzheimers New Zealand has 21 local organisations providing support, care and education. Click here for contact details. You can also go to our links page for more information about organisations which can help you and websites which may be useful. Most local Alzheimers New Zealand organisations have support groups where people with dementia and carers/family members/friends can meet others in similar situations.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. However, there are medications which can help mask the progression of some of the symptoms. Alzheimers New Zealand supports people with dementia and their carers to live the best possible lives.
Dementia cannot as yet be prevented or cured, but there is strong evidence that the risk may be reduced by adopting a brain healthy lifestyle. This website explains how to do that with Mind your Mind, Alzheimer’s Australia’s dementia risk reduction program.
If you have a parent or sibling with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it is slightly more likely the disease may be passed on to you. However, there are very few families where there is a direct inheritance from one generation to the next. People with early on-set dementia (those under 65) have more of a chance of passing the disease to their children than those who develop dementia later in life. A range of factors are thought to be responsible for dementia, including age and environmental factors, as well as genetic inheritance. People of all ages, ethnicity and intellectual abilities can get dementia.
During the course of the disease, abnormal proteins form ‘plaques' and ‘tangles' in the structure of the brain. These tangles lead to the death of brain cells and a shortage of important chemicals in the brain which transmit messages. For more comprehensive information about various dementias and Alzheimer's disease, click here.
Some medications, called cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA-receptor antagonists have been found to relieve some symptoms and hold back the progression of the disease for some people for a period of time. However, there is no cure for dementia. To find out more about these drugs and how they work, please click here.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and makes up 50-70% of all cases. Vascular dementia (20-30%) is the second most common form. Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Fronto-temporal dementia are also other, less common forms. To read about all the different kinds of dementia, please click here.
Both Alzheimers New Zealand's national office and our 21 local organisations are always looking for volunteers and support from individuals and organisations. Check out our volunteer page for details. To contribute financially, please click here for our donate page.
You can also click here for a list of links. Some of these links are blogs written by people who have dementia, or by carers. There are also links to other Alzheimers organisations worldwide and supportive organisations around New Zealand.
Alzheimers New Zealand provides a range of helpful resources and information sheets which can be downloaded from this website. Please click here
We have 23 local Alzheimers organisations which provide support groups to people with dementia, their family/whanau and carers. Please click here.
If you would like to ask a question please type it into the comment box provided below.
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