‘Doctor, would it be alright to take mum to Cyprus for a family wedding?’ In a cosmopolitan city such as London hardly a month goes by without hearing a similar sort of query. If ‘mum’ has dementia I tend to advise the family against flying. This advice is based on anecdotal observations from past clinical practice. I have witnessed a number of patients experience significant deterioration in cognition following flying. While disorientation in unfamiliar environments may explain some of the difficulties in travelling for a person with dementia, as illustrated by John Bayley in Iris (1998), this may not be the only explanation. On this occasion, I decided to use evidence-based practice to review the situation.
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