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  • Doctors miss opportunities for earlier diagnosis of dementia

    Doctors miss opportunities for earlier diagnosis of dementia

    Tue 21 Mar 2017

    24.03.17 A research project in which older people with memory problems were encouraged to consult their GP failed to achieve earlier diagnoses of dementia. University College London (UCL) researchers arranged for selected GP practices to send patients aged 70 or over a personally signed letter and information leaflets about dementia, resulting in a significant increase in the proportion of patients consulting their GPs with suspected memory difficulties. But the study of more than 14,000 patients in the south-east of England found no corresponding increase in the proportion of patients referred to memory clinics and that opportunities for an early diagnosis of dementia were therefore likely to have been missed. The researchers concluded that empowering patients by writing to them personally with relevant information was “not by itself enough to improve timely access to dementia services.”

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