The new figures show more than twice as many people in the UK have dementia before the age of 65 than was thought. It's estimated 42,000 people have young onset dementia (also called early onset dementia) - including thousands of cases among those in their 40s, and more than 700 cases among those in their 30s.
It had never occurred to me that I could affect my brain through food or drink until I suffered really serious brain fog, a term that has been used rather loosely to define that muddled feeling, which causes us to act out of character, sometimes rather zanily, forgetting little things (the keys) and sometimes big things (where the car is parked).
I was thirteen and three-quarters at the time. And although kissing somebody was on my bucket list, Great Auntie Maud looked nothing like a) Andrew Ridgeley from Wham, b) John Taylor, the bass guitarist from Duran Duran, or c) Stephen Jones from Form 3C, who were the usual objects of my kissing fantasies.
It's Autumn, well and truly. Equinox fell the weekend before last. Autumn is always new year in my heart. Not for me the arbitrariness of a new year in January when the Northern Hemisphere is in darkness. Rather, Autumn, when the air is full of life and death, possibilities and change. That's my new year.
I am always immensely uncomfortable when anyone tries to put a monetary value on dementia, purely because I know that there is so much more to calculating the 'cost' of dementia than could ever be accurately represented by the use of pound signs. The emotional, all-encompassing, life-changing (and life-shortening) effects of dementia reach far and wide into every family affected.
A staggering fact: if a person dies at 80 with Alzheimer's, the disease may have started in their brain at age 45. Fascinating and frightening as this fact may be, it shows that there's no stronger incentive than to improve your health as you move through the middle years of your life.
This week's report published by the Alzheimer's Society has highlighted the growing number of people living with dementia and the impact of dementia on their lives and the lives of their families.
I felt more than privileged as I found myself sat in the front row behind members of Julie's family for this performance and hearing their laughter and tears enabled me to know the depth of truth and reality behind the portrayal of the various characters, and how rooted in real life Let Me Stay is.
Care Workers are vital. We are the eyes and ears on the ground. We know how much Mrs Smith normally eats and sleeps, if she's been this confused before, if she's in more pain than usual. We know what doctors need to know in order to make a diagnosis. We can mean the difference between prevention and cure.
Dementia is a huge topic, encompassing many different aspects that stray into the territories of (in no particular order) healthcare, social care, science, community, family life, wider society, therapeutic practitioners, the voluntary sector, academia, finance, pharmaceuticals and yes, politics. 'Ownership' of it is hotly contested - it is a health issue, a care issue, something that governments must lead on or something that only the individuals living with it, and their families, truly understand?
As Simon Stevens makes his first major speech as CEO of NHS England, he has a challenge to change a system that lets our most vulnerable people down. With its' approach comprised of too many disconnected services, our health and care services are antiquated and no longer fit for purpose.
When it comes to my great passion, dementia, the UK's major charities - Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer's Research UK and Dementia UK - are all becoming household names. Interestingly though, when my story of my dad's life with dementia was unknown, it was a charity hardly anyone in the dementia world talks about who showed most interest in me.
Progress is urgently needed in understanding Alzheimer's disease and in finding effective treatments. Available drugs can help stabilise memory loss and confusion for a few months in about half of patients, but no preventative treatments exist and none that slow the inexorable development of the disease.
Dementia Awareness Week, organised by the Alzheimer's Society, is this week. It is an annual event designed to shed some light on a condition that is all too often often misunderstood, and to encourage anyone who feels as if they, or someone they are close to, might be suffering with symptoms to take some action.
Carol Rogers, the executive director for Education and Communities at National Museums Liverpool, came up with a project that is having a powerful imp...
There are concerns: fears about inauthentic relationships, particularly with respect to end of life care. Our acceptance of introducing human-like but not actually human helpers might qualify as an infringement on personal dignity. So, the next step should be targeted attention on specialized 'bots that will be able to assist and care for older adults.