World Alzheimer’s Month—Diagnosis of Dementia

This is the tenth year that Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) recognizes World Alzheimer’s Month. On September 21, ADI launched World Alzheimer’s Day with, Journey through the Diagnosis of Dementia, in collaboration with McGill University.

Among the key findings from the report—

  • 75% of people with dementia globally are undiagnosed․
  • Clinician stigma is still a major barrier to diagnosis—1 in 3 believe nothing can be done.
  • 90% of clinicians identified delays due to COVID-19.

COVID’s impact on people with dementia is greater. Over the last 18 months, COVID-19 has accelerated the onset or increased risk of dementia. Knowing the warning signs is vital. During and beyond World Alzheimer’s Month, ADI urges us to raise awareness and challenge the stigma of dementia.

With an estimated 75% of dementia cases going undiagnosed, this means an additional 41 million people remain undiagnosed. If an estimated 55 million people currently live with dementia, worldwide, we’re looking at almost 100 million people living with dementia!

World Alzheimer's Report 2021 Journey through the Diagnosis of Dementia

Journey through the Diagnosis of Dementia

The Alzheimer’s Disease International—McGill University World Alzheimer Report 2021 is available for free as a 314-page PDF at the ADI site here: https://www.alzint.org/u/World-Alzheimer-Report-2021.pdf

From ADI’s website—

“In 2021, we focus on the crucial topic of dementia diagnosis. Contributions and input [were] sought from clinicians, people with dementia and caregivers, and ADI member associations, resulting in over 3,500 responses to our online surveys. The report, Journey through the diagnosis of dementia, features first-hand experiences of receiving a diagnosis from people with dementia.” [Read Part III: Personal Testimonies, pages 152-157]

This year’s theme “shines a light on the importance of timely diagnosis and… sharing the warning signs of dementia and encouraging people to #KnowDementia and #KnowAlzheimers, to seek out information, advice, support, and a diagnosis.”

Chris Lynch, ADI’s Deputy CEO and Director of Policy, Communications and Publications, urges “healthcare professionals, scientists, academics and researchers, governments and policy makers, care managers, and people living with dementia, their carers and family” to read this report. He adds, “Diagnosis is incredibly complex but everyone should have access to robust cognitive assessment and with emerging breakthroughs in both diagnostics and treatments….”

Key Recommendations

Read page 23 of the report.

The Five-Part Report includes—

  1. Clinical Assessment (Primary care, Specialists, and Online Resources
  2. Laboratory Tests
  3. Personal Testimonies
  4. Formulation of Diagnoses
  5. Particular Circumstances (Limited Access to Healthcare Resources)
  6. The Future of Diagnoses (Includes New Blood Biomarkers)

In 2020 ADI published Design Dignity and Dementia.

For more annual reports visit World Alzheimer Reports.

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