Signs of Dementia Are Ignored - Study; the Earlier the Treatment, the Better, Stresses Charity

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), July 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

Signs of Dementia Are Ignored - Study; the Earlier the Treatment, the Better, Stresses Charity


Byline: PHIL HAZLEWOOD

MORE than half of all people now caring for someone with dementia waited three years before going to see their doctor after first noticing symptoms of the condition, a study has revealed.

But more than two-thirds of GPs and nurses said they did not feel confident about giving a diagnosis of the brain disease or talking to a concerned relative about it.

The results, released after a study conducted by the Alzheimer's Society, coincide with the start of a week of events to raise awareness of the degenerative condition.

Many people ignore their fears, preventing their loved one getting early treatment and putting them at increased risk, the charity said.

Professor Murna Downs, from the University of Bradford's Dementia Group and one of the researchers, said: 'Three years is far too long for someone to wait.

'We need to let people know that there are many new services and drug treatments for people with dementia.

'For those who may benefit from the new drug treatments, the earlier these are prescribed, the better.

'There is clearly still a lot of stigma and misunderstanding attached to dementia.'

The research, conducted by the Dementia Group with the University of Stirling and University College London, looked into the effectiveness of different treatments. …

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