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.
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.
Being admitted to hospital can be upsetting for anyone but for people with dementia it's particularly confusing and frightening. Now doctors and nurses at one of the south's leading hospitals are revolutionising the treatment of dementia patients.
In a pioneering project, a ward at Southampton General has been refurbished, with bright colours and visual aids. For the first time in this country a specialist nurse has been employed to train staff. Kerry Swain has been to visit.
Kerry Swain spoke to Admiral Nurse Jeni Bell, Matron Jill Young and June Wallace a patient on the unit.
Doctors and nurses at one of the south's leading hospitals are revolutionising treatment for dementia patients.
In a pioneering project, a ward at Southampton General has been refurbished to match the needs of Alzheimer's patients with bright colours and visual aids. As Kerry Swain now reports a specialist practitioner is working with staff to improve patient care.
Kerry Swain spoke to Jeni Bell, a specialist nurse at Southampton General Hospital.