'We need to shake off the grim fatalism' of dementia

Writing for the Telegraph the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said:

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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Dementia sufferers 'abandoned'

Some doctors are refusing to carry out tests for dementia as they believe it is pointless with no effective cure available, the Health Secretary has claimed. The Alzheimer's Society has warned patients are not being told of their diagnosis.