As with cancer in the past, too many health and care professionals are not aware of the symptoms.
Some even believe that without effective cure there's no point putting people through the anxiety of a memory test - even though drugs can help stave off the condition for several years.
It is this grim fatalism that we need to shake off. Not just within our health service but across society as a whole.
It can be a total nightmare getting a diagnosis - and the result is that, shockingly, only 46% of all dementia cases are identified.
Yet with access to the right drugs and support for a partner, someone can live happily and healthily at home for much longer. We should be ashamed that we deny this to so many people in today's NHS.
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