An organisation looking for hundreds of thousands of people to help with studies into dementia has not had enough come forward. Join Dementia Research needs volunteers to take part in clinical trials of new treatments for the condition.
Official figures state that at present there are 850,000 living with dementia in the UK, but predictions suggest that number will rise to more than a million by 2025. Only a small proportion of these patients have come forward to be included in trials, making it even harder to find a cure.
Caroline Dinenage, minister of state for health, has made an impassioned plea on behalf of the organisation for individuals to come forward. She wrote in the Daily Express recently: “Whether you have dementia or know someone who has, I urge you to consider participating in research yourself through Join Dementia Research, or having that conversation with your loved one.
"Less than four per cent of people in England with a diagnosis are currently involved in studies but we need many, many more to help make the breakthroughs to beat this disease."
Despite being so widespread, there’s still a lot about dementia that is misunderstood by the general public. Alzheimer’s Research UK conducted a poll to unearth common misconceptions and found that half of adults were unaware that dementia is a cause of death.
Further to this, a fifth of those asked said they thought the disease was an inevitable part of ageing. Two in five respondents said that dementia was the condition they were most fearful about getting.
If you’re worried that a loved one could be in the early stages of dementia, it’s best to book an appointment with their GP. Among the signs to look out for are memory loss, a lack of understanding and mood swings.
While there’s no cure for dementia, an early diagnosis can help in the treatment of the condition to slow its progress. If it does turn out to be dementia, then your relative could help advance the hunt for a cure by signing up to a clinical trial.