In this report, we used focus groups and a survey of 2,106 UK adults to investigate public attitudes towards early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Currently Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed when symptoms appear, but the disease begins damaging the brain years before this point. Research suggests that the ability to pick up Alzheimer’s earlier could transform how and when we treat the disease.

Detecting and diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease

In order to form a baseline from which to understand public perceptions of detecting and diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, our research explored public understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, including the differences between the two terms.

While many people have heard of – or are indeed directly impacted by – dementia, the complexity of the diseases that cause dementia mean there are often misconceptions about the condition, its symptoms and how it differs from normal ageing.