You're listening to ReachMD. Uncover the truth about Alzheimer's in this special series, Alzheimer's Disease: Towards Earlier Detection.
Dr. Matt Birnholz:
More than half of those seeking a diagnosis for dementia have delayed going to their doctor by at least a year, according to a survey carried out by the Alzheimer’s Society of Great Britain. The organization found that the respondents’ most common reason for delaying was the fear of receiving what they considered a life-ending diagnosis. Other common fears included the expected strain or severance of close relationships, and a loss of independence such as driving restrictions once diagnosed. Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said that this delay in seeking medical attention was something they wanted to change. In his words “Too many people are in the dark about dementia – many feel that a dementia diagnosis means someone is immediately incapable of living a normal life, while myths and misunderstandings continue to contribute to the stigma and isolation that many people feel.” Efforts by the Society to curb this trend are now ongoing, starting with awareness campaigns to reassure people that life doesn’t end when dementia begins, and that getting a timely diagnosis will enable people to live as well as possible.
For ReachMD, I’m Dr. Matt Birnholz.
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