This report focuses on the crucial and timely subject of diagnosis. Diagnosis is still a major challenge globally, with those who seek a diagnosis often experiencing long wait times, if they are able to receive a diagnosis at all. Societal stigma, self-stigma and clinician related stigma also exacerbate what is already a difficult journey.
With this report, we explore this diagnosis journey through the lens of those living with dementia and carers, clinicians, researchers and academics, and Alzheimer and dementia associations, as well as what can and must be improved.
In the report foreword, ADI CEO Paola Barbarino writes:
Dementia is now the 7th leading cause of mortality globally and, as we know from previous World Alzheimer Reports, one of those with the highest cost to society. There is a perfect storm gathering on the horizon and governments all over the world should get to grips with it.
World Alzheimer Report 2021: Chapter overviews
Chapter 1: What is dementia, why make a diagnosis and what are the current roadblocks?
Chapter 2: Who makes the diagnosis of dementia and how do you prepare for the assessment?
Chapter 3: Medical history and physical examination
Chapter 4: Functional assessment
Chapter 5: Mood and behavioural assessment
Chapter 6: Cognitive assessments
Chapter 7: Preliminary diagnosis of cognitive decline
Chapter 8: General laboratory tests
Chapter 9: Brain imaging using CT and MRI
Chapter 10: Brain imaging using PET and SPECT
Chapter 11: Spinal fluid
Chapter 12: Genetic testing
Chapter 13: Diagnostic tests: novel biomarkers
Chapter 14: Differential diagnosis
Chapter 15: Disclosure of results
Chapter 16: Initial management following a diagnosis of dementia
Chapter 17: Re-evaluation of diagnosis over time
Chapter 18: Limited access to healthcare resources
Chapter 19: Low education
Chapter 20: Sex, gender and cultural factors
Chapter 21: Impact of a world pandemic on the diagnosis of dementia
Chapter 22: Multiple comorbidities
Chapter 23: Young-onset dementias
Chapter 24: Costs factors in diagnosing dementia
Chapter 25: New challenges and opportunities in the diagnosis of dementia
About the authors
This report has been overseen by the McGill University Research Centre in Studies in Aging and the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, specifically the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Dementia Education Program, supported by the Office of Education Technology and Online Learning at the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. Together, they are leading complementary initiatives devoted to prevention, diagnostics, management, education, knowledge dissemination and support for care partners.