World Alzheimer's Month 2020 & the Latest Dementia Statistics

Together with our partners at Autumna, we share the latest news and statistics on dementia.

Published: 23 Dec 2020

World Alzheimer’s Month in September is the international campaign to raise global awareness of dementia. The focus for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign is diagnosis, stimulated by recent developments, and potential breakthroughs, in both dementia treatment and diagnostics. In conjunction with this, people are being encouraged to recognise the potential warning signs of dementia and to understand the importance of a timely dementia diagnosis. This will hopefully motivate concerned individuals to seek out information, advice and support - ultimately with the aim of challenging the stigma that surrounds its diagnosis. 

In this article we’ll be sharing some of the latest dementia statistics, as well as highlighting the most common forms of dementia and their level of prevalence.

The key topics you’ll read about in this article are as follows:

  • Dementia Statistics
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics
  • Vascular Dementia Statistics
  • Frontotemporal Dementia Statistics
  • Lewy Body Dementia Statistics
  • Young Onset Dementia Statistics

Dementia Statistics:

Dementia is the term used for a group of symptoms brought about by abnormal brain changes. It isn’t a singular disease — a wide range of medical conditions can cause it – but typical symptoms often include memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioural challenges.

Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by nerve cell damage in the brain. This is a result of the formation of abnormal protein clumps.

Perhaps the most important Alzheimer’s disease statistic to know is that 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are thought to be affected and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s for people over the age of 80 rises to 1 in 6.

The progression of Alzheimer’s is typically slower than other common forms of dementia. Symptoms may be mild in the first few years. 

Older adults often worry about their memory, but the NHS says that mild forgetfulness is a normal part of ageing. But getting lost, struggling to make decisions, and difficulties with word-finding or forming new memories are more concerning symptoms to investigate.

Vascular Dementia Statistics

Vascular dementia isn’t as well-known but is the second most common type of dementia

with 150,000 people affected in the UK. Between 5 and 10% of people living with dementia are thought to have the vascular type.

Vascular dementia can progress at different speeds depending on the cause but an MRI scan will be able to detect the severity of vascular damage to the brain. For example, a stroke affecting major blood vessels could lead to sudden and significant symptoms, whereas, a series of smaller strokes over time can cause a slower deterioration in cognitive abilities.

Often, the symptoms can be similar to Alzheimer’s Disease. They include memory loss, balance issues, confusion, and problems with communication.

Lewy Body Dementia Statistics

Lewy Body dementia is classified by experts as the third most common type of dementia

with 5-10% of people with dementia diagnosed with it. The symptoms can overlap with Parkinson’s Disease and memory loss is typically less significant than in Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Signs of Lewy Body dementia are:

  • Visual hallucinations
  • Quick changes from alert to confused states
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slow movement and gait problems

Frontotemporal Dementia Statistics

For people with frontotemporal dementia, the frontal lobe and temporal lobe which control behaviour, language, and personality shrink over time. Most people with this variant develop it earlier in life, between the ages of 40 and 65.

This rarer form of dementia can cause personality changes and often gets misdiagnosed as a psychiatric condition. Among people under the age of 65, the frontotemporal dementia statistics are particularly high with 20% of those who develop dementia before the age of 65 thought to be affected.

Young Onset Dementia Statistics

Dementia is much less prevalent amongst people under the age of 65, and misdiagnosis can often be a problem. However, it does affect around 42,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer’s cause 34% of dementia cases in younger adults.

family history of dementia puts people more at risk of young onset dementia, due to the higher incidence of gene mutations. However, this is rare with less than 1 in 100 cases of dementia are due to inherited genetics.

Further Reading & Support

Please share any of the information from this article with family, friends, or colleagues. You can find out more information about World Alzheimer’s Month 2020 on the dedicated Alzheimer's Disease International website.

At Autumna, our mission is to share reliable advice on later life care, including support for people with dementia and their families. If you’re concerned about your memory or need some advice for someone you know, you can contact us in several ways.

Phone: 01892 335 330 Email:

Website Resources:

We also recommend that you contact your GP and other relevant health professionals about any worries you may have.