Fifty percent of dementia cases go undiagnosed

Fifty percent of dementia cases go undiagnosed

Fifty percent of dementia cases go undiagnosed

A major report by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has found that in high income countries only 20-50% of people living with dementia are recognised and documented in primary care.

Glenn Rees, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia, said that the findings in the ADI report are consistent with a new paper released by Alzheimer’s Australia for Dementia Awareness Week today titled “Timely diagnosis of dementia: Can we do better?”.

“This paper, prepared by a team at the University of Newcastle has found that there is an average of 3 years before a diagnosis is made from the first consultation. This was consistent with longstanding concerns of consumers about delays in diagnosis,” Mr Rees said.

“There were many reasons for the delays in diagnosis including the false belief that dementia is a normal part of ageing, denial on the part of the individual and family, the complexity of diagnosing dementia and doctors being reluctant to damage the doctor-patient relationship.”

This year Dementia Awareness Week centres around these messages with the theme “Worried About Your Memory? Call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500”

For more information on Dementia Awareness Week visit www.alzheimers.org.au.

Read the Alzheimer's Australia media release here

News: