Login
Facebook YouTube Twitter Linkedin
Facebook YouTube Twitter Linkedin

News

22 April 2014

85% of elderly people with depression not receiving help

Almost nine out of ten elderly people with depression are not getting the support they need because doctors struggle to spot the symptoms or confuse it with dementia.

Almost nine out of ten elderly people with depression are not getting the support they need because doctors struggle to spot the symptoms or confuse it with dementia.

Dr James Warner, chairman of the Old Age Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists raised concerns that many of the elderly people with depression were not being correctly diagnosed as the symptoms shown were not always identified as signs of a mood disorder. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has estimated that as many as 85 per cent of older people with depression receive no help from the NHS.

“A lot of people will present with physical symptoms and these are things that tend to grab the doctor’s attention,” Dr Warner said. “Sometimes depression can look just like dementia so you need to be very alert that there’s a cross-over between the two.”

Using Cantab Mobile, the sensitive memory assessment detecting the earliest signs of dementia, doctors can confidently differentiate symptoms of mood disorders from memory impairment. The Paired Associates Learning (PAL) test that is built into the Cantab Mobile iPad app is highly sensitive to the early signs of dementia but is generally unaffected by the symptoms of depression. The built in Geriatric Depression Scale, provides a full picture of both memory performance and mood to support a more accurate assessment process.

Dr Becky Rous, Clinical Psychologist at Cambridge Cognition commented, ”dementia and depression are common problems among older adults and can occur separately or together. We know that careful clinical assessment of both these conditions is crucial to enable patients and families to access the right treatment and support; the integrated nature of the episodic memory and depression scale in Cantab Mobile makes the tool well placed to identify clinically relevant symptoms and promote better awareness of these challenging conditions”.

For more information on Cantab Mobile contact on healthcare@camcog.com or call 01223 810 700.