What is Dementia?

Dementia is general term used to describe a wide range of symptoms such as changes in memory, thinking, problem solving skills, communication, and perception, enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia also impacts relationships, emotions, and behaviors. In other words, dementia affects so much more than just memory.

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. The most common cause or type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Other types of dementia include Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and several others.

Although age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, younger people can develop dementia as well.

Prevalence of Dementia in Iowa

Dementia is a rising public health concern nationwide, and Iowa is no exception. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, at least 62,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. This does not account for people living with other dementias, people under 65, or people that are undiagnosed. Dementia Friendly Iowa is making Iowa a better place for people with dementia to thrive.

Read the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Landscape Report from the Iowa Department of Public Health here.