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Public want early Alzheimer's diagnoses, international survey reveals

Public want early Alzheimer's diagnoses, international survey reveals
21st July 2011

An international survey carried out in Europe and the US has revealed that the public are strongly in favour of earlier Alzheimer's diagnosis.

Over 85 per cent of respondents from France, Germany, Spain, Poland and the US claimed that if they were subject to cognitive symptoms such as confusing and memory loss, they would like to find out whether they had Alzheimer's.

The neurodegenerative condition is clearly at the forefront of public health anxiety, with four of the five countries naming it their second biggest medical fear, after getting cancer.

"Many of the public have high expectations about the possibilities of treatment alternatives and medical testing. It is important for doctors to talk to patients about what treatment and testing options are or are not available," stated Dr Robert Blendon, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Meanwhile, research published in journal the Lancet discovered that Alzheimer's depression drugs sertraline and mitazapine were no more beneficial to patients than a placebo and yet often caused unpleasant side effects.

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