Dementia is one of those subjects that can be difficult for people to talk about. And that’s understandable. However, we should all find out a bit more about it. Here are five things you probably don’t know about dementia.

1. People Under 65 Can Get Dementia Too

Many of us see dementia as something that only affects seniors. Also, it’s certainly true that the majority of individuals who get dementia are over the age of 65. Though, it’s possible for younger people to get it too. There is a minority of people who get dementia in middle-age. These people often have to juggle their illness, their work lives, and their family obligations. Getting dementia at any age is tough, but trying to live with it when you’re younger is especially devastating.

2. The Mini-Mental State Examination is Used to Diagnose It

There are many ways of checking for and diagnosing for dementia. Brain scans can be useful, but they’re not the best way of diagnosing the problem. Instead, the Mini-Mental State Examination is what’s used. This test is useful because it allows medical teams to track the progress of the illness. So, the test will be taken by the patient a number of times, and this helps to see how effective the treatment is. The examination tests memory, language, and their attention, among other things.

3. There Are Several Risk Factors

There are a few different risk factors that make people more likely to get dementia later in life. It’s often assumed that genes are the driving force behind the disease, but that’s not true. Only about 5% of diagnoses are linked to genes. Environmental issues, like mental and physical inactivity, high blood pressure and smoking. Therefore, looking after your health can make you less likely to develop dementia. Although, there’s no way of completely ridding yourself of the risk.

4. It Affects Your Personality

People often think that dementia is a disease that’s all about losing your memory. That’s one of the effects that the disease has on the brain, but it’s certainly not the only one. People with frontotemporal dementia can experience a change in their personality. This can be very challenging for friends and family to deal with because the sufferer can change quite drastically. Very quiet people have been known to become loud and outgoing as the disease affects their personality.

5. Alzheimer’s is a Type of Dementia, Not a Different Problem

Alzheimer’s disease is not something that is different from dementia. It’s just one of the many types of dementia that you can get. It is by far the most common form of dementia out there. Some people think that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two entirely different things. It’s just one example of the misunderstandings that many people hold when it comes to dementia. Understanding the problem better could make it easier for people to get the help and treatment they need.