Memory loss and dementia - diagnosis
Dementia is a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
Alzheimer's Society has more information on the different types of dementia and the symptoms.
Becoming forgetful does not mean that you have dementia, memory loss can be a normal part of ageing or the symptom of a medical condition such as a water infection (UTI). But if you're at all worried about yourself or someone else becoming forgetful or confused, speak to a GP or a Memory Support Advisor.
Alzheimer's Society also has advice on what to do if you're worried about your memory or worried about someone else's memory.
NHS Choices has information about what to expect when you see your GP about dementia and how a diagnosis is made.
People with a learning disability are at greater risk of developing dementia. It also tends to occur at an earlier age (especially for those with Down's syndrome). The symptoms in the early stages can be different and difficult to spot and can progress more quickly.
For these reasons, it is even more important to get an early diagnosis. If you care for someone with a learning disability and are concerned about signs of memory loss or dementia, contact your GP or Memory Support and Advisory Service.
Alzheimer's Society has more information about learning disabilities and dementia.