The World Alzheimer Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention shows that there are interventions that are effective in the early stages of dementia, 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.
Some of the key findings of the report include:
- Evidence suggests that when people with dementia and their families are well prepared and supported, initial feelings of shock, anger and grief are balanced by a sense of reassurance and empowerment
- Most people with early stage dementia would wish to be told of their diagnosis
- Early therapeutic interventions can be effective in improving cognitive function, treating depression, improving caregiver mood, and delaying institutionalisation. It is simply not true that there is ‘no point in early diagnosis’ or that ‘nothing can be done’. Some of these interventions may be more effective when started earlier in the disease course
To prepare the report, ADI commissioned researchers Prof Martin Prince, Dr Renata Bryce and Dr Cleusa Ferri at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, to undertake the first-ever, comprehensive, systematic review of all of the evidence on early diagnosis and early intervention for dementia.