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World Alzheimer's Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention
Date:9/12/2011

The World Alzheimer's Report 2011 'The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Intervention', released today by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), shows that there are interventions that are effective in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, some of which may be more effective when started earlier, and that there is a strong economic argument in favour of earlier diagnosis and timely intervention.

ADI commissioned a team of researchers led by Professor Martin Prince from King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, to undertake the first-ever, comprehensive, systematic review of all evidence on early diagnosis and early intervention for dementia.

Currently, the majority of people with dementia receive a diagnosis late in the course of the disease, if at all, resulting in a substantial 'treatment gap'. This greatly limits their access to valuable information, treatment, care, and support and compounds problems for all involved - patients, families, carers, communities and health professionals.

Lead author Prof Prince said: 'There is no single way to close the treatment gap worldwide. What is clear is that every country needs a national dementia strategy that promotes early diagnosis and a continuum of care thereafter. Primary care services, specialist diagnostic and treatment centres and community-based services all have a part to play, but to differing degrees depending upon resources.'

'Failure to diagnose Alzheimer's in a timely manner represents a tragic missed opportunity to improve the quality of life for millions of people,' said Dr. Daisy Acosta, Chairman of ADI. 'It only adds to an already massive global health, social, and fiscal challenge - one we hope to see in the spotlight at next week's United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases.'

The new ADI report reveals the following:

  • As many as three-quarters of the estimated 36 million people worldwide living with dementia have no
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Contact: Louise Pratt
louise.a.pratt@kcl.ac.uk
44-207-848-5378
King's College London
Source:Eurekalert

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