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Charity calls for end to dementia stigma

7th October 2008

A charity is calling for national awareness campaigns to tackle the issue of stigma associated with dementia.

Research conducted by the Alzheimer's Society has found that half of all adults in the UK believe dementia is a condition "plagued" by stigma.

The author Terry Pratchett is launching the report on behalf of the charity this week as part of an effort to "bring dementia out of the shadows".

Pointing out the effect a diagnosis can have on an individual, Mr Pratchett - himself diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer's disease - continues: "When you 'come out' people get embarrassed, lower their voices and get lost for words."

Alzheimer's Society chief executive Neil Hunt says the target is to reduce stigma levels by half within five years, adding: "Government, charities, services and employers need to work together to make this a reality."

The Discworld author Terry Pratchett made an impassioned call at the Conservative Party conference last week for urgent action to combat the rising toll of dementia.

He stated the condition could create an "unbearable" pressure on the national health service and the country as a whole if politicians and wider society do not act to tackle the issue.

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