Summary of Hearts and Brains project

Sarah Day

Registered User
Sep 28, 2004
17
Gordon House, London
The Hearts and Brains project is a Department of Health funded initiative specifically focused on vascular dementia. It was set up for a number of reasons not least because of the sheer number of people affected by vascular dementia. Of the 750,000 people with dementia in the UK, it is estimated that 20% have vascular dementia. However, the number is probably much greater when cases of mixed dementia are factored in.

Despite the numbers involved, our research indicates that very few people understand what vascular dementia is. We set up mixed focus groups involving a range of laypeople from age 35 upwards. None of them had heard of vascular dementia although all of them had a good understanding of what Alzheimer's disease was.

Clearly we can't let this situation go on. We need to raise awareness of vascular dementia as well as other forms of dementia, not only for the sake of the people diagnosed with it but also because there are many people that are at risk of developing the condition. Armed with this information, we should be doing everything we can to identify these people and inform them about the ways they might prevent this condition developing.

We would welcome any thoughts you might have about this project. In particular, we would like to know what sort of information and materials you would find helpful as well as any ideas you might have about innovative ways to communicate our message. Please post your comments on the main Hearts and Brains forum.
 
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