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: 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.
Scientists in Windlesham, Surrey are developing new drugs which could halt or even prevent Alzheimer's Disease. The research is taking place at the laboratories of pharmaceutical company Lilly. Their chief scientific officer Michael Hutton talks to Tom Savvides.
The NHS in East Kent has launched a consultation to improve care for older people with dementia and other mental health problems. The aim is to support more people with dementia to live well in their homes for longer.
There are plans to invest £600,000 in improving home treatment services and provide a round the clock dementia crisis service. It's hoped that hospital wards in Canterbury, Ashford and Margate will be remodelled too.
Roadshows are to take place at the following venues where you can find out more:
- 17 April: St Mary Bredin Church, Nunnery Fields, Canterbury. 10am - 12:30pm
- 17 May: The Landmark Centre, 129 High Street, Deal. 10:30am - 12:30pm
- 14 June: Norman House Event Centre, Beaver Industrial Estate, Beaver Road, Ashford. 2:30pm - 4:30pm