Diagnose dementia

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In an article in today's Daily Telegraph, he lambasts the failure of health workers to attempt diagnosis of dementia because there is no effective cure calling it a "grim fatalism that we need to shake off."  He points out there are medications that can help stave off the condition and provide much needed relief from symptoms. 

The Alzheimer's Society believes that early diagnosis is beneficial.  Their Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes commented:  "Studies show that an early diagnosis can save the taxpayer thousands of pounds, because it can delay someone needing care outside of their own home. The NHS has already made a commitment to improving diagnosis rates but more needs to be done to ensure people with dementia are able to live as well as possible with the disease."

However, in a recent programme on Radio 4, Dr Mark Porter highlighted the concerns about the system being able to cope with the increased emphasis on diagnosis. 

Whatever the arguments for and against, the failure to diagnose mean that many patients are missing out support, treatment and benefits that are provided to dementia sufferers and much needed assistance for their carers and families.

Annabelle Eyre
Clinical Negligence team

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