Dementia is a syndrome that manifests with a number of symptoms
that vary among individuals and vary within the same person over
time. Symptoms may include memory loss, depreciation of judgment
and reasoning, mood shifts and changes from routine behaviour. Symptoms
are usually hard to detect at first and become more pronounced with
time. They may affect a person's ability to function at work, in
social relationships and other daily activities.
Sometimes “dementia-like” symptoms can be caused by
other conditions that are treatable, such as depression, thyroid
disease, infections or drug interactions. If symptoms are not treatable
and become more pronounced over time, they may be due to dementia
- damage of nerve cells in the brain. A person should seek a thorough
medical assessment if symptoms are present and persistent.
Dementia Education Needs Assessment (DENA)
An assessment tool designed to assist professionals working in organizations that provide care to older persons with dementia, make decisions about continuing education programs related to dementia (Alzheimer Disease or related dementias – ADRD). For more information click here.
Some Facts About Dementia:
||Studies have found the prevalence of dementia
in persons with intellectual disabilities to be about the same
as in the general population.
||Alzheimer disease, one form of dementia, accounts for 65%
of the dementias seen in the Canadian adult population.
||Adults with intellectual disabilities (except those with Down
Syndrome) are at the same risk for Alzheimer disease as other
adults in the general population.
||Adults are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer disease
if they are more than 60 years old, have Down syndrome, have
had some form of severe or multiple head injury and have a history
of Alzheimer's disease in their family.
||The prevalence of dementia in the population is increasing
because the incidence of dementia increases with age and a greater
proportion of the population is growing older as the baby boom
generation enters their senior years.
||The figures on the incidence of dementia may vary depending
on how they are reported. Studies have shown some differences
in the incidence of dementia among various countries.
||An estimated 364,000 Canadians over 65 have Alzheimer disease
and related dementias. Those with Alzheimer Disease are estimated
at 238,000 (65% of all dementias).
The incidence of Alzheimer Disease among people with Down Syndrome
varies depending on the source of the data. The table below illustrates
reported incidence ranges by age.
Range of Reported
Incidence of Alzheimer Disease Among Persons with Down Syndrome
40 - 49
10 - 25%
50 - 59
20 - 50%
60 - 75%