Yesterday afternoon, I found myself filling in an online form for BRACE.

It asked all the usual questions – contacts, income, number of staff etc.

Just after number of staff, to which the answer is five, it asked how many beneficiaries we have. The field demanded a number, not an explanation with caveats and equivocations. After a moment’s thought, I entered seven billion.

My reasoning is simple and probably obvious. There aren’t seven billion people with dementia, but then it’s people who have yet to develop dementia who stand to benefit from research. There are over seven billion people in the world and, while the vast majority won’t develop dementia, any one of us might. I have no means of estimating how many people will be born in future, of course, but I have to start somewhere. Research, we believe, will help us slow, stop or prevent dementia and, with the last of these in mind, we shall never be sure how many people might have developed dementia had it not been for improved knowledge of cause and risk.

No single charity, researcher or public body, however large, should ever pretend that any progress or breakthrough is down to them alone. We all feed into a huge and growing network of expertise around the world. However, our contribution is making and will continue to make a difference.

Not bad for a charity with five staff.