A big week for dementia

Tom Dening is Professor of Dementia Research at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. He tweets @TomDening. Here he outlines why this week has many reasons to be a big one for dementia.

Although dementia is rarely out of the news and indeed often on the front pages of certain national papers, the start of this week (23rd February) is a biggie even by dementia standards. That’s for two reasons: one, the latest version of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge (Monday), and, two, the launch of Join Dementia Research (Tuesday). Continue reading

Is the Abbreviated Mental Test Score the best we’ve got?

Dr Thomas Jackson and Professor John Gladman discuss a recent review of screening tools for dementia in general hospitals.shutterstock_88989310

Thomas Jackson says:

Geriatricians will often diagnose dementia for the first time in hospital as a crisis admission. Here the diagnosis is usually straightforward but we are left with a feeling that the crisis may have been preventable had a diagnosis been made earlier. Dementia is very much a hot topic at the moment. There has been the recent political drive to raise rates of diagnosis through an appeal by the Prime Minister and introduction of a financial incentive to improve dementia detection in hospitals (a Commissioning for Quality Innovation Payment or CQUIN). Getting the diagnosis of dementia right, and in a timely fashion, is important for the patient, their carers and medical professionals looking after them. Diagnosis gives reassurance to patients and carers about worrying symptoms, as well as allowing access to specialised health and social care services. Making the diagnosis in hospital enables healthcare professionals to ensure they get the best care.  However, we need the right tools to help us get things right.  Continue reading