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New International Survey Reveals Multiple Barriers to an Accurate and Timely Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis
Date:9/19/2012

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Lack of definitive tests

The majority of physicians indicated they were "moderately satisfied" (57 percent) with tools available to make a formal Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.2 A lack of definitive tests was cited as the top barrier (65 percent) among physicians surveyed in all countries.2

Lack of communication

Of the physicians surveyed, 75 percent reported that discussions about Alzheimer's disease were initiated by patients and caregivers.2 Further, 44 percent of physicians surveyed reported that patients and/or caregivers initiated the discussion after they suspected "Alzheimer's disease was present for a while."2 Additionally, 40 percent of respondents reported that patients and caregivers did not provide enough information to help them make a formal diagnosis.2 When asked what information would aid them in making a more definitive diagnosis in the absence of clinical evidence, physicians surveyed indicated that reports about the types and durations of symptoms, how symptoms affect daily life, rate of decline and family history would help.2

"The journey to receiving an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can be a complex process," said Eric Siemers, M.D., senior medical director of Lilly's Alzheimer's disease team. "Given a wide variety of emotions, it is often understandably difficult to communicate important information to physicians. We hope this survey is helpful to patients and caregivers as it highlights ways to partner more closely with their physicians."

Denial and stigma

Physicians who took part in the survey also reported that communicating an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis to patients can be difficult due to patient denial (65 percent) and social stigma (59 percent).2 The majority of respondents (71 percent) agreed that there was at least a moderate level of stigma associated with Alzhe
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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