Three-quarters of the estimated 36 million people with dementia worldwide do not have a formal diagnosis, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2011 published on Tuesday, 13 September 2011.
The report, ‘The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention’, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Disease International, 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.
The report estimates that early diagnosis could create savings of up to US$10,000 (£6,254) per person. It suggests this could be achieved in various ways, including providing Alzheimer’s drugs and support for carers earlier, delaying the need for people to go into hospitals or care homes. The report makes recommendations including every country having a national dementia strategy promoting early diagnosis, and to increase investment in research. This is the first comprehensive review of all worldwide evidence on early diagnosis and intervention for dementia.