The brain and dementia

5. Remembering the person

Researchers have discovered so much about how the brain works that it can be tempting to think of the person just in terms of their brain, and that changes in a person's behaviour are caused wholly by damage to their brain. This is a mistake. Our behaviour does reflect changes in our brain. But it also depends on our attitude, life experiences and environment as well as how others relate to us - whether we have dementia or not. It is important to focus on what a person with dementia can still do or feel, not just on what they might have lost. This will help support them to live well with the condition.

More information

Last reviewed: September 2014

Next review due: September 2017

Reviewed by Dr Jon Simons, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge and Daniel Collerton, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University

This information has also been reviewed by people affected by dementia. A list of sources is available on request from

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