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Routine dementia screening proposed

Routine dementia screening proposed
28th March 2011

People aged over 75 should be routinely screened for signs of dementia, the Alzheimer's Society has said, in a bid to improve diagnosis rates for the condition.

According to the society, there are 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK, yet more than half of these have not received a diagnosis.

The Alzheimer's Society called for a debate on the value of screening, and any other approach that could help people with dementia find out about it earlier on.

Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the society, said: "A timely diagnosis is essential in order to give people access to care, support and medical treatments that can make a huge difference to their quality of life.

"We must act now to improve these dismal diagnosis rates."

Professor Tim Kendal, who helped to create the NHS guidance on dementia, told Radio 4's Today programme that targeted checks on people admitted to hospital for other reasons might be a more efficient way to screen.

Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.