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The Many Faces of Dementia

  • 2 hours per week (8 hours total)
  • 4 weeks

Overview

This free online four-week course will give you a unique insight into dementia through the stories, symptoms and science behind four of the less commonly diagnosed forms of dementia.

This is a FutureLearn MOOC (massive open online course), created in partnership with UCL.

Dementia is one of the top priorities in global health and is estimated to affect over 44 million people worldwide. This has a huge impact on individuals and on society, so improvements in understanding, care and treatments are desperately needed.

In this free online course you’ll discover some of the key issues in dementia care and research through the eyes of people affected by the condition, and world-leading experts at UCL.

We’ll show how research into the signs, stages, symptoms and causes of less common forms can bring us closer to the aim of defeating dementia.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of diseases, all causing a progressive loss of our ability to think, feel and perceive by affecting how the brain functions. In the four weeks of this course we’ll investigate four of the less common forms of dementia that are important to understand better in their own right (they’re often not well recognised), but can also provide important insights that change how we think about dementia in general.

Watch the course trailer on YouTube

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at:

  • anyone who works with people diagnosed with dementia
  • people who have a friend or family member with dementia
  • people in the early stages of the disease
  • students who want to learn more about dementia

The only requirement is an interest in dementia and its effects on people and the brain.

Course content

Week 1: What if dementia runs in the family?

Explore the challenges that face families - and ground-breaking research taking place - with people affected by familial Alzheimer’s disease, where the condition runs in the family and often starts at a young age.

Week 2: What if dementia affects behaviour and personality?

Dementia is not just about memory loss - we investigate the particular challenges for diagnosis and care for people with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia.

Week 3: What if dementia makes you see things that aren’t there?

Some people with dementia experience hallucinations, and many describe fluctuations in their symptoms over time. These aspects are particularly clear in dementia with Lewy bodies, which you’ll learn about in week 3.

Week 4: What if dementia affects your vision, not your memory?

People with posterior cortical atrophy experience changes in the way the brain processes visual information. We’ll explore this condition and the research taking place to help people live better with visual impairment related to dementia.

How you'll learn

This course is presented by experts from the UCL Institute of Neurology and Division of Psychiatry who are highly regarded for their work as scientists and clinicians. You’ll also hear from people who have been diagnosed with dementia, and people who care for a family member with dementia, to get a better understanding of the impact that a diagnosis of dementia brings.

You’ll gain an understanding of how dementia affects people by:

  • watching video interviews
  • looking deeper into the topics by reading articles
  • interacting through activities and questions
  • learning from others on the course by taking part in the discussions that accompany each step

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Course information last modified: 20 Nov 2017, 11:41

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