Grave concerns about Alzheimer's, high lack of knowledge, report shows

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The vast majority of adults would see a doctor if they experienced the kind of confusion or memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, and would encourage a loved one to do the same, according to a recent survey. 

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Alzheimer Europe conducted a phone survey of 2,678 adults in the United States, France, Germany, Spain and Poland, Reuters reported. When asked to rank which diseases respondents feared the most — out of a seven diseases including cancer, heart disease and stroke — almost 25% chose Alzheimer's.

Alarmingly, nearly 40% of those surveyed did not know the disease is fatal. Nearly half said they thought there are reliable medical tests that can show whether a person is in the early stages of the disease.

The findings were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris on Wednesday. The survey was funded by Bayer AG, which is developing imaging tests for Alzheimer's.