The importance of timely dementia diagnosis

Posted on 17 February 2014 in Healthcare

Timely diagnosis of dementia-related diseases, following the onset of symptoms, is a Department of Health priority. Dementia has a huge impact on people living with the condition, their families and carers, and costs the healthcare system an estimated £19 billion a year, more than the costs of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Contrary to common perceptions, there is a great deal that can be done to help people with dementia. If detected in a timely way, people with dementia and their carers can receive the treatment, care and support needed to let them live well with the condition and stay independent for longer. Timely detection can:

  • Empower the patients and family to make decisions about future care needs
  • Pharmacological treatments may be more effective at an early stage before widespread pathological changes have occurred
  • A diagnosis can reduce the anxiety associated with uncertainty, and also allows access to information and tools that allow the individual and their family to explain their condition to family and friends.

As well as benefiting patients and their families, timely detection of dementia makes healthcare services more sustainable, reducing the costs of avoidable hospital care, unnecessary GP consultations and the need for social care.

By identifying the earliest signs of cognitive impairment, Cantab Mobile can help facilitate more accurate referrals to secondary care and reduce the time to make a formal diagnosis. At the early stages of a dementia related disease, it can be difficult to determine if an individual has a clinically-relevant memory problem, or can be classified as a ‘worried well’ individual. Cantab Mobile provides an objective measure of memory performance, allowing more efficient allocation of resources.

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