Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Diagnosis and possible prevention

This recent article is interesting:

I have reservations about the current emphasis on the need for early diagnosis and I've discussed them before (type 'diagnosis' into the search box at the top left if you're interested).

Leaving these views to one side, it interests me that the article clearly suggests that diagnosis is a more complicated matter than we are sometimes led to believe:

'The National Clinical Director for Dementia in England, Prof Alistair Burns, says the MoCa test could be an important component in identifying risk of vascular dementia, but he says by itself it is just a "snapshot", and a lot of other factors should be brought to bear in arriving at a diagnosis.
"It's not just one thing. It's looking at the history of the person, it's looking at how they are doing in general, it's looking at the medical history, at brain scans, and that test of cognition, of executive function."
However he says the message about the possibility of prevention is important.'

The possibility of prevention is another interesting topic about which there are few clear-cut answers. Since vascular dementia was first identified it has been clear that lifestyles which minimise the risk of heart disease or stroke might help to prevent vascular dementia as well. But there are several different kinds of vascular dementia and many, many more kinds of dementia that don't seem to have any connection with the vascular system. It's important that people understand this.

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