It's a disease that can leave loved ones completely unrecognisable. But dementia - now on the rise - can be mistaken for old age.
Only 38% of people who have dementia in the South East are actually diagnosed.
A group of scientists are conducting research into whether the causes of dementia are linked to stress.
Too many people with dementia in our region are living lonely and depressing lives according to a new survey by the Alzheimer's Society. It says dementia sufferers often find their friends desert them, and they become isolated and anxious
Others have to rely on family and neighbours for support, as Malcolm Shaw's been finding out. He spoke to Willem Van Der Valk, who has dementia and his wife Christine, neighbour Julie Shenton, and Linda Barnes from the Alzheimer's Society.
ITV Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson has been talking to Norman Lamb, the Care Services Minister. She asked him whether dementia just needed extra resources.
VIDEO: Around 26,000 people have been diagnosed with the condition in the South East. But it's still estimated that 40,000 people in our region are not aware that they may have a type of dementia. Fred and Sangeeta link to Tom Savvides.
The number of people suffering with dementia is rising. Today the Alzheimer's Society called on the NHS to do more to detect and treat the condition.
VIDEO: A new approach to dementia, which could speed up diagnosis and treatmen, is being pioneered in the south. It involves a mobile unit, which takes the latest MRI technology to the patient.
VIDEO: New research which could speed up the diagnosis of dementia is being welcomed by sufferers and their families. It's believed around 350,000 people in the UK are living with the condition unknowingly
Scientists in Portsmouth are to launch a major study of little-known proteins they believe are a contributing factor to diseases such as dementia and multiple sclerosis.
The team of biologists at the University of Portsmouth have been awarded £600,000 to research the impact on the ageing of the brain and cognitive decline.
The study will focus on a protein known as Kir4.1 which is a key element in controlling special cells in the brain and spinal cord which form myelin, a substance which insulates the brain's wiring.
VIDEO: Interview with Merrill Jones, daughter of Jeanne Howe, who suffers from dementia.