This guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards covers the role of neuro-imaging in the assessment and diagnosis of dementia in primary care.
Over the past few years, prompted by the dementia strategy and more recently the Prime Minister’s challenge has led to dementia being considered a ‘long term condition’ with a move away from secondary care led diagnosis and management to a primary care based service resorting to specialist services only in the more challenging cases.
A group of specialists and generalists in the South West of England considered the role of neuro-imaging in the diagnosis of dementia in primary care, taking into account recent research data, best practice, and NICE guidance.
The guidance recommends that structural neuro-imaging should be used routinely in the assessment of people with suspected dementia to:
- Exclude other (potentially reversible) pathologies (1-10%)
- Establish the sub-type of dementia.
The guidance also recommends that multi slice CT scans with coronal reformatted views are the most cost effective option first line of the structural neuro-imaging options available.
These guidelines were written by the Diagnostic Pathway Expert Reference Group (DPERG), Neuro-imaging work group. This group is part of the Dementia Network South West, one of three networks within the Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions South West.