Dementia and the drive to increase diagnosis rates: the debate goes on

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As part of its excellent ‘Too Much Medicine’ series, the British Medical Journal last week published an important analysis of the current direction of travel in the field of dementia care. The article is hard to ignore, written as it is by highly authoritative academics from the UK and Australia, including Professor Carol Brayne, an [read the full story...]

Intensive cognitive training may help to prevent cognitive decline

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Cognitive decline describes increasing problems with memory, comprehension, language and mental agility. Mild cognitive impairment means that a person has cognitive decline beyond that which might be expected for their age, but generally do not experience problems with everyday living (Alzheimer’s Society, 2012). Dementia has similar symptoms, but these are more severe and people with [read the full story...]

Short-term recovery from mild cognitive impairment is possible, but an increased risk of further cognitive decline remains

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The symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) include problems with cognitive functioning such as day-to-day memory. In some individuals it is the first sign of dementia, whereas in others it may be due to resolvable factors such as being the side-effect of medication (Alzheimer’s Society, 2012). At present it is unclear how many people with [read the full story...]

New Cochrane review says that vitamin E should not be used to treat dementia

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It was relatively recently that every Tom, Dick and Harry in the scientific community was popping vitamin E supplements in the hope that this antioxidant would help protect them from the damaging effects of free radicals. Us elves get our vitamin E from the vegetables, fruits and whole grains that make up our naturally healthy diet. Many single [read the full story...]

Cholinesterase inhibitors should not be recommended for mild cognitive impairment, says Cochrane review

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Early diagnosis and effective treatment of dementia will help large numbers of the population remain independent for longer. Cholinesterase inhibitors are one of the anti-dementia drugs that are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and they are often used immediately after diagnosis. This new systematic review from the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, looks at [read the full story...]

World Alzheimer’s report highlights the importance of early diagnosis and intervention for dementia

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This new 70-page report from Alzheimer’s Disease International warns that in countries such as England, 50-80% of dementia cases are not being recognised in primary care. It highlights the fallacy that as people get older they naturally have problems with their memory, and goes on to recommend that primary care staff who see people with [read the full story...]

GPs find it difficult to identify mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia, and are poor at recording diagnoses

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This meta-analysis looked at the ability of general practitioners (GPs) to recognize a spectrum of cognitive impairment from mild cognitive impairment to severe dementia in routine practice using their own clinical judgment. The authors found 15 studies reporting on dementia, seven studies that examined recognition of broadly defined cognitive impairment, and eight regarding mild cognitive impairment. By [read the full story...]