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Efforts for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Encouraged

Posted Oct 03 2011 10:17pm
Posted on 2011-10-03 06:00:00 in Alzheimer's Disease | Healthcare and Public Policy |

The “World Alzheimer's Report 2011 – The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Intervention,” issued by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), submits that there are interventions that are effective in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), some of which may be more effective when started earlier, and that there is a strong economic argument in favor of earlier diagnosis and timely intervention. Martin Prince, from King's College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues completed a systematic review of the evidence to-date regarding early diagnosis and early intervention for dementia. The ADI report reveals that as many as three-quarters of the estimated 36 million people worldwide living with dementia have not been diagnosed and hence cannot benefit from treatment, information and care. Failure to diagnose often results from the false belief that dementia is a normal part of aging, and that nothing can be done to help. On the contrary, the new report finds that interventions can make a difference, even in the early stages of the illness. ADI recommends that every country have a national Alzheimer's/dementia strategy that promotes early diagnosis and intervention. The group encourages a basic competency among physicians and other health care professionals in early detection of dementia in primary care services. Further, where feasible, ADI urges an increased investment in researchincluding studies to test the efficacy of interventions with particular relevance to early-stage dementia.

“World Alzheimer Report 2011 - The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention.”  Alzheimer's Disease International, Sept.  13. 2011

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