Dementia is a terminal condition, but in many cases, it’s complications which arise from dementia that can shorten life. It may seem like a morbid question, but finding out if you can die from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia is often something people who’ve recently been diagnosed want to know.
Conditions that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies, are chronic and progressive. This means they’ll get steadily worse. However, the rate at which this happens, and the subsequent effect this could have on your life expectancy will depend on various factors. These include the type of dementia you have, what caused it and your overall health and lifestyle
It’s important to remember that Alzheimer’s disease and dementias don’t just cause memory loss, they damage the brain. The brain does everything for us – controls the heart, the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and your metabolism – as well as storing facts and memories. This means that as your cognitive functions start to decline, so will your body’s ability to stay well. Dementia will eventually affect the brain so much that it will be unable to control other areas of the body and they will start to shut down. It’s important to remember that this is a gradual process that can take many years, but dementia is a terminal condition.