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Expert expresses concern over memory test dementia kit

Expert expresses concern over memory test dementia kit
5th June 2008

An expert has suggested that a new home memory test dementia kit could cause GPs to be swamped with people who wrongly think they have the condition.

Professor Steve Iliffe, professor of primary care for older people at University College London, has warned that the Alzheimer's Society's memory test, which is designed to prompt people to consider the cause of any forgetfulness.

"The problem with focusing on memory is that memory disturbances are also common in depression and anxiety, so there is a risk that GPs will have a large number of false positives to contend with," told online resource Healthcare Republic.

He added that the most common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's, often begin with losing the ability to plan or deal with unexpected situations rather than memory loss.

Professor Iliffe continued to say that GPs have limited resources available to them to deal with Alzheimer's patients.

The Alzheimer's Society's test is part of its new campaign to make people more aware of the symptoms of dementia.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the charity, has said that there is an "acute" lack of understanding surrounding dementia.