A recent study has underlined how doctors may be better-placed to distinguish the difference between Alzheimer's disease and depression.
Carried out by Professor Della Sala at the University of Edinburgh alongside a team of researchers, the differences between people with Alzheimer's and those with depression, as well as healthy older people with no memory impairment, were identified due to their approach of dual activities.
A representative of the Alzheimer's Society commented on the findings which showed that those with dementia performed much worse on dual-task trials than those with depression and people with no history of either condition, even when allowances were made for memory variables.
Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, explained that this is the first piece of research to compare the performance of simultaneous tasks in depression and Alzheimer's disease and could lead to the early diagnosis of the latter condition.
She continued: "Currently, up to two thirds of people with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis and it is often misdiagnosed as depression. Dela Salla's team aims to develop a simple screening test that will help GPs discriminate Alzheimer's from normal ageing and depression."