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Screening tests for dementia

  • Balamurugan Ganesan (a1)
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Abstract
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 Foy, K, Okpalugo, C, Leonard, F. Usefulness of routine blood tests in dementia work-up [letter]. Psychiatr Bull 2009; 33: 481.
2 Hejl, A, H⊘gh, P, Waldemar, G. Potentially reversible conditions in 1000 consecutive memory clinic patients. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002; 73: 390–4.
3 Department of Health. Living Well with Dementia: A National Dementia Strategy. Department of Health, 2009.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Screening tests for dementia

  • Balamurugan Ganesan (a1)
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eLetters

Screening Test for Dementia

Sanjay Jain, Locum Consultant Psychiatrist (Old Age)
07 February 2010

Screening for dementia or early cognitive impairement is of paramount importance. However, it should not be limited to patients in their seventies but should be done even for patients in their nineties. Otherwise we are going to create a biased services and just because a patient is in his or her nineties does not exclude them from being offered a full screening and it is rather unwise not to do so. We have to understand that screening for dementia will help with further investigations and treatment of reversible causes of this illness. Dementiacauses a high burden of suffering for patients, their families and society.

Another important issue would be of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)and although not formally classified but certainly it has recieved due attention as interventions at this stage certainly will delay the expression of clinical symptoms. The National Dementia Strategy is indeed a step in a right direction and now with huge infusion of money across England and Wales as well as establishing an early diagnosis and intervention clinics is of paramount importance in order to identify probable mild cognitive impairement early on by utilizing various screening test including blood test, scans and battery of neuropsychological testing. This will certainly help both patient and carers to be well prepared and informed and reduces the risk of early institutionalization.

Therefore to say that patients in their nineties do not deserve full investigations is rather a stone age statement. Screening test should be available to everyone regardless.

DECLARATION OF INTEREST: None

REFRENCES:

1) National Dementia Strategy, Department of Health, 20092)Boustani M, Peterson B, Hanson L, et al. Screening for Dementia. A Systematic Evidence Review. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=hstat3.chapter.28271. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2002.3)Callahan, C. M., Hendrie, H. C., Tierney, W. M., (1995);. Documentation and evaluation of cognitive impairment in elderly primary care patients. Annals of Internal Medicine,. 122:422-429
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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