Memory loss, mood changes, and problems with reasoning and communication are all symptoms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s develops gradually in the brain attacking the nerves, cells and the chemicals that carry messages to and from your brain. The structure of the brain and its ability to function is slowly destroyed.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

We still don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease but there are several risk factors that may affect its development:

  • Age - the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases steadily as you age
  • Genetics - if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s your risk may be slightly increased
  • Previous severe head injuries
  • Down’s syndrome - people with Down’s syndrome are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s
  • Lifestyle factors that may preclude vascular disease can increase your risk. These may include smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol

How is Alzheimer's diagnosed?

If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with memory, speech, behaviour or managing everyday activities you should visit your GP. Your GP will need to rule out many conditions that share similar symptoms. They may order blood tests or scans to look for changes in your brain.

Your GP may refer you to a specialist to help confirm your diagnosis. Our experienced consultants can work with you or your loved one to fully diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s. Our specialists include:

  • Psychiatrists trained in the treating mental health conditions
  • Neurologists trained in treating your brain and spine
  • Physicians with expertise in treating the elderly

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