The Alzheimer's Society is warning that there is still widespread misunderstanding about dementia.
Its latest research, published during Dementia Awareness Week, shows that nearly a third of people mistakenly think dementia is a natural part of aging.
Furthermore, a quarter do not realise they can reduce the risk of dementia and confusion about contributing factors was also seen.
The results show a "shocking lack of understanding", comments head of public health at the society Sarah Day.
"The truth is dementia is not a natural part of ageing; it is caused by diseases of the brain and robs people of their lives."
People can reduce their risk of developing dementia through things such as staying active, eating healthily and not smoking.
The Alzheimer's Society is also calling for more funding for dementia research, urging the UK's scientists to lead the world in the race for a cure.
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