Earlier this year, the NHS set out plans to trial a comprehensive new health check for 40 year-olds. Questions designed to test for signs of dementia will be included. This is a new departure – until now, screening for dementia has only been offered routinely to those who are 65 or older.
Dementia is a frightening word. Over 850,000 individuals in the UK currently suffer from this disorder, and the numbers are rising. The reasons for this worrying trend are not yet known, although more sensitive diagnostic tools have made it possible to make a more accurate diagnosis, and to make it earlier in the course of the disorder. Newer, more powerful treatments for other diseases, as well as improvements in physical health generally, have also made a difference because people are surviving other diseases and living longer.
It’s important to note that dementia is not itself a disease. It’s a shorthand term for a group of symptoms that include memory loss, word finding difficulties, disorientation, and a diminishing ability to plan ahead, complete complex tasks, and engage socially. There are a number of reasons why someone may start to show these symptoms, and some of those reasons — although not all — are reversible.
Click here to read the full article on the Telegraph website
17th October 2016