The report urges governments to invest in a dementia strategy that helps patients gain early diagnosis, and recommends funding more research into early stage treatments.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has welcomed the report and the emphasis it places on early detection and assistance for people with dementia.
A group of scientists from King’s College London were commissioned to perform a review of the current evidence on early diagnosis and intervention in dementia. Their report estimates that as many as three-quarters of people with dementia worldwide have not been diagnosed, with much of the remainder only receiving diagnosis late on. It means millions of people worldwide missing out on access to information, care, treatment and support.
The report recommends every country should have a national dementia strategy in place which promotes early diagnosis and intervention. One key recommendation is the need to increase investment in research to test drugs or intervention strategies which could be particularly effective in the early stages of dementia.
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and early diagnosis is crucial to allow people to get access to vital support and treatment. It also provides a massive boost to our research efforts, allowing potential new treatments to be tested earlier in the disease, when they are likely to have the greatest effect.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK is currently funding its largest single grant of over £700,000 to support scientists at King’s College London in their research into a blood test for dementia. The importance of detecting Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages cannot be overstated; it can unlock our ability to get treatments to patients. Dementia can only be defeated through research, but funding still lags far behind other diseases. If our scientists are to make progress, they must have our backing, and that means we must invest in research now.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK