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Dementia diagnosis and treatment

Dementia is a syndrome that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. Effective dementia treatment can help manage, and in some cases reduce dementia symptoms.

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Dementia is the most serious form of memory problem. It causes a loss of mental ability and other symptoms. It can be caused by various disorders which affect part of the brain involved with thought processes. Most cases are caused by Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies.

Symptoms of dementia patients can vary. However, common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty speaking and writing
  • Misplacing personal possessions
  • Poor judgement

It is important to contact your GP or a specialist as early as possible. However, confirming a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult, particularly when the condition is in its early stages. This is because many of the symptoms of dementia can be caused by other conditions.

In order for dementia to be diagnosed correctly, you will have a number of different tests and assessments including: 

  • a review of your personal history including education and employment
  • a review of your medical history
  • a full assessment of your mental abilities
  • a range of tests, including blood tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms
  • imaging scans, which can provide information about the physical state and structure of your brain
  • a review of any medication you may be taking, in case these are contributing to your symptoms.

When dementia is diagnosed treatment is generally in the form of medication. These medicines help with the symptoms occurring in dementia. The medicines do not cure the syndrome, but temporarily slow down the progression.

Psychological testing can enable the differentiation between the different kinds of dementia which scans often cannot. Dementia like symptoms are sometimes caused by depression and anxiety. Psychological tests can differentiate between these conditions. Once the cause has been diagnosed the clinical psychologist can recommend appropriate strategies for coping with and improving memory. 

A profile of deficits is then drawn up by the psychologist and a treatment plan agreed with the patient including memory training, memory management or psychological therapy to help with the depression and anxiety.

If the diagnosis is dementia then the most appropriate course of action after memory training, is to refer the patient on to a Memory Clinic for ongoing medical and psychological treatment and support as it is a long term degenerative illness. This can be provided within the private sector in some hospitals or within the NHS.

Benefits: Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Effective dementia treatment can help manage and in some cases reduce dementia symptoms.  

Safety: Non – invasive. Very safe.

Specialists offering Dementia diagnosis and treatment

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Dr Craig Heath

Consultant Neurologist

MD, MB ChB, BSc(Hons)

Ross Hall Hospital 2 more Kings Park Hospital Ross Hall Clinic Braehead

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Dr Syed Rizvi

Consultant Physician

MBBS, FRCP(London), Diploma in Cardiology(London)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Dr Tabish Saifee

Consultant Neurologist

MBBS, BSc, MRCP, PhD

The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Dr Dougall John Patrick McCorry

Consultant Neurologist

The Edgbaston Hospital 2 more The Priory Hospital Circle Rehabilitation, Birmingham

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Dr Murugiah Seevaratnam

Consultant General Physician

FRCP

The Cavell Hospital 1 more The Kings Oak Hospital

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