Dr Jennifer Bute, who diagnosed her own
dementia after being misdiagnosed by her neurologist, is calling for an urgent
response to dementia research and diagnosis.
A resident at the St Monica Trust’s Sandford Station retirement village, Jennifer is now one of the 50 million people in the
world with dementia. That figure is expected to skyrocket
to 132 million by 2050.
“At first it was passwords, I just couldn’t remember passwords and names. The first neurologist wouldn’t even do any tests, he said there’s nothing the matter
with you,” Jennifer said.
“Soon after, I wouldn’t recognise people I had known for 20 years, then I
started getting lost along familiar routes. That was kind of how it all started.”
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) released its World Alzheimer’s Report 2018
on World Alzheimer’s Day.
Featuring in the report, Jennifer, hopes for
greater exposure and understanding of dementia.
“When I was working as a doctor, very little was actually done proactively
"My hope is that the World
Alzheimer’s Report 2018 brings much needed exposure, attention and funding to
what is now a global health crisis,” she said.
The World Alzheimer Report 2018 features some of the best and most illustrious minds in Alzheimer’s and dementia research globally, including Professor Bart de Strooper, Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute and Professor Gordon Wilcock, co-founder of UK’s Alzheimer’s Society.
Alzheimer’s Disease International CEO,
Paola Barbarino, said: “This report asks where we are now, why have there been
no major breakthroughs in 20 years and what are the barriers to find solutions.
“It looks at exciting new work in the
field, the new frontiers of dementia research, and it underlines our vital call
for increased dementia research funding.
“We hope that the release of the World
Alzheimer’s Report will increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
and spark a debate, which will lead to more governments and businesses
dedicating funds and focus to help people with dementia and their families live
Jennifer moved into Sandford Station with her late husband, Stanley, in April 2011 and, despite her diagnosis, continues to live independently.
She regularly tours the country giving talks at conferences and runs a weekly Japanese Memory Group for her fellow residents.
Jennifer also has her own website and her book, Dementia from the Inside: A Doctor’s Personal Journey of Hope will be released on November 15, 2018.
A special book signing event will be held at Sandford Station's Christmas Fayre on Saturday, 1 December, 2018.
World Alzheimer’s Report 2018 – The State of the art of dementia research is available for download here.