The government needs to do more to remove the stigma attached to dementia, a leading charity has claimed.
A spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) said that dementia was a hidden disease, "very much like cancer in the 1950s".
Earlier this week, the Committee of Public Accounts was highly critical of what it saw as "broken promises" from the Department of Health over dementia care reform.
Dementia should be a "national priority" akin to cancer and stroke, the group claimed.
The ART feels that the criticism was deserved.
"We think that dementia research should be made a much higher priority by both the government and the public in general," said their spokesperson.
Treatment of dementia is underfunded, according to the charity, meaning understanding of the disease is still low and diagnosis is difficult.
Dementia affects 820,000 people in the UK, costing the UK economy £23 billion per year, while dementia research funding is 12 times lower than that for cancer research, according to ART's Dementia 2010 report.
Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.