Alzheimer’s sufferers are treated poorly and either abandoned to care homes or prescribed excessive drugs, according to a leading sociologist.

Hearthstone Alzheimer Care president John Zeisel said that more non-pharmacological treatment was needed that would help develop existing skills of the patients, according to a report in The Times.

Speaking at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival Zeisel said that the way Alzheimer’s patients in Britain were cared for needed to be reassessed.

Zeisel said that the outdated approach to Alzheimer’s could be compared to the way epilepsy or autism was viewed in the 19th century.

He said more importance must be placed on activities that stimulate engagement and improve language skills.