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In late 2011, 6 in 10 dementia sufferers were not being diagnosed. Has it changed?


As of late 2011, 6 out of 10 people with dementia were going undiagnosed. And in response the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia launched an inquiry into how to improve diagnosis rates. Their initial response was that the majority of people who have the condition and who have not been diagnosed meant that they were missing out on essential support and treatment. Dementia affects 750,000 people in Britain and is expected to hit as many as 1 million by 2021 and 1.7m by 2050. It is reported that the disease costs the economy as much as £20bn and is one of the major causes of disability in later life. However, GPs have said that they do not feel well equipped enough to make a diagnosis of dementia and few understand the differences between normal signs of ageing and the vital signs of dementia. Early diagnosis and early support helps a person live a better day to day life and also stops them reaching crisis point. Another question to ask is why diagnosis rates differ around the country. Early symptoms of dementia include:

  • Struggling to remember recent events, but easily recalling things that happened in the past

  • Struggling to follow conversations or programmes on TV.Forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects

  • Repeating things or losing the thread of what’s being said

  • Having problems thinking or reasoning; feeling anxious, depressed or angry about memory loss and feeling confused even when in a familiar environment

For more information on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia please click on: http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1583 As also: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/dementia.htm

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