With an estimated 700,000 people in the UK suffering from some form of dementia and an ageing UK population, a new YouGov survey highlights a lack of public awareness regarding Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

When respondents were asked how well informed they are about the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or dementia, 66% were either not very well informed or not informed at all. Only 5% considered themselves very well informed1.

When asked for the most likely reasons that somebody might not encourage their relative to seek medical advice for their memory loss, 62% percent of people said that the reason would be because they think that memory loss is a natural part of ageing. Other reasons cited were2:

- They would not wish to worry their family (28%)
- They lack sufficient knowledge about memory loss (24%)
- They would not consider memory loss to be a serious medical problem (20%)
- They would not want to bother the GP (10%)

The survey also looked at what worries people most about old age. From a list of questions, respondents cited their concerns as being2.

- Not having the independence to look after oneself (30%)
- Losing a partner or loved one (29%)
- Not being financially secure (25%)
- Having to go into a nursing home (8%)
- Having to live with your children or family (1%)

To coincide with the results of this survey, the 'Worried about your MEMORY?' Alzheimer's disease awareness roadshow will be starting its tour of the UK from 2nd October until 3rd November visiting ten UK cities. The roadshow will offer materials about Alzheimer's disease to the general public and dementia-specialist nurses will be available to offer advice to anyone with concerns or queries.

Dr David Wilkinson, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry at Moorgreen Hospital, Southampton said, "Whilst we all become more forgetful as we get older memory loss can be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease and if we delay getting it assessed it may mean patients only come for help when things have already deteriorated.

"There are very clear distinctions between what is normal memory loss and what isn't. Forgetting the name of a friend, politician or actor is normal. Not being able to retain new information, not being able to learn and so becoming very repetitive is not, and when that is the case people should seek help early to gain the maximum help from available treatments and support. There is a real need to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease so that people know what signs to look out for and where they can go to seek help and advice."

About the YouGov survey

Research was conducted online by YouGov Plc between 4th and 6th September 2007. YouGov interviewed a sample of 2,178 GB adults. Results have been weighted to be representative of the GB adult population. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council. Survey commissioned by Eisai Limited and Pfizer Limited.

Founded in May 2000, YouGov is a professional market research agency pioneering the use of the Internet and information technology to collect higher-quality in-depth data for market research and public consultation. YouGov pro-actively recruits respondents from all ages, socio economic groups and regions of Britain. The sample for each survey is carefully selected and controlled so that it is representative of the adult population as a whole - or the specific audience that the survey is designed to measure.

About the 'Worried about your MEMORY?' roadshow

This roadshow has been initiated and funded by Eisai Limited and Pfizer Limited. Both Eisai Limited and Pfizer Limited are committed to ongoing disease awareness activities across a variety of therapeutic areas. Permission to use the Worried About Your Memory branding kindly granted courtesy of the Alzheimer's Society. Alzheimer's Society materials will be available on the roadshow.

Roadshow dates and locations:

1. Tues 2 & Weds 3 October: Broadmead Podium, Bristol, BS1 3DX
2. Fri 5 & Sat 6 October: St John's Street, Cardiff town centre, CF10 1GL
3. Tues 9 & Weds 10 October: High Street, North End, Croydon, CR0 1YE
4. Fri 12 & Sat 13 October: Terminus Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3AP
5. Tues 16 & Weds 17 October: Amphitheatre Space, Norwich, NR2 1TF
6. Fri 19 & Sat 20 October: Victoria Square, Town Hall, Birmingham Town Centre, B1 1BB
7. Mon 22 & Tues 23 October: Market Square, Nottingham, NG1 2DT
8. Fri 26 & Sat 27 October: Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7AL
9. Tues 30 & Weds 31 October: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, M1 1LZ
10. Fri 2 & Sat 3 November: Main gates outside City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS

About Eisai

Eisai is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in two therapeutic areas: Integrative Neuroscience including neuroscience, neurology and psychiatric medicine and Integrative Oncology including oncotherapy and supportive-care treatment. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide health care system. Eisai employs more than 9,000 people worldwide. For more information please visit Eisai or Eisai.jp

About Pfizer

Pfizer Inc, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines in 9 therapeutic areas. Pfizer is also the world's largest animal health company.

Pfizer Inc employs approximately 105,000 colleagues worldwide, all of whom are devoted to working for a healthier world. Pfizer conducts more biomedical research than any other corporation, and has 14,000 professionals working in R&D sites worldwide, including Sandwich in Kent. Pfizer's research investment in 2005 was more than $7.4 billion. In the UK, Pfizer Ltd has its UK business headquarters in Surrey and is the major supplier of medicines to the NHS.

References

Knapp et al. (2007) Dementia UK: Report to the Alzheimer's Society, King's College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science

2 YouGov survey. yougov. September 2007

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