Posted on June 26, 2013

Dementia diagnosis rates rise

A study carried out by a health body in Gloucestershire shows that the rate of dementia diagnosis in the area has improved significantly. The study was carried out by the CCG Primary Care Clinical Audit Group and covered all 85 GP practices in the area.  The study also showed that there has been a drop in the number of patients who have been given anti-psychotic drugs to help them to cope with the condition.  The diagnosis rate in the area have improved significantly and is currently higher than the average across the country, with a rise from 36% diagnosis to 53% within the last two years. Official figures show that 4,389 patients in the region have been diagnosed with dementia, and one of the reasons given for the low rate of diagnosis is that the condition is difficult to pinpoint in the early stages when the symptoms may not be as obvious; however, medical experts have stated that an early diagnosis is essential in terms of dementia care.  This can make a real difference in helping someone to stay independent and in their own home for longer, which is important in improving the quality of life for the sufferers. The reduction in the use of anti-psychotic drugs is also important, as there have been cases of such drugs causing problems for the patients and their carers.  Long-term use can also lead to strokes, and in some cases shorten life expectancy.  These improvements in dementia diagnosis and care have been welcomed by the health authorities in the area.
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