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Undiagnosed dementia rates revealed

A new report has found that by 2021, the amount of people with undiagnosed dementia will reach almost 600,000.

Currently, just over 300,000 people are undiagnosed, but that figure is set to almost double over the next 10 years, according to figures from the Alzheimer's Society.

By 2021, more than a million people are expected to have dementia, with the number of people with the condition increasing as people live longer lives.

The charity, which has published a map on variations in diagnosis, says if the current diagnosis rates of 40% are not improved, then some 595,725 people will be undiagnosed.

The lowest rates of dementia diagnosis is in Dorset, where just 26% of people who have the condition know about it. The figure increases to 69% in Belfast.

If diagnosis rates stay the same, Milton Keynes will have the biggest gap between people expected to be living with dementia and those who receive a diagnosis.

Belfast is predicted to have the smallest diagnosis gap.

Milton Keynes is the fastest growing area and can expect a 56% increase in people living with the condition, the map also shows.

In contrast, Barking and Dagenham is predicted to have slightly fewer people living with dementia in 2021 than now.

The map is based on prevalence rates for dementia from experts at King's College London, which have been updated by the charity, alongside information held by GPs.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Alzheimer's Society

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"Get a practice protocol written and have one clinician with specialist training responsible for raising awareness and conducting memory assessments. I wrote ours and any clinician GP or nurse (or patient themselves if they have concerns) within the practice can be referred to me for an assessment. This covers not just memory but all aspects of
daily living and liefstyle including weight BP etc and takes about an hour. Those found to be suffering from some impairment (MMSE) are referred to the psychgeriatrician for further assessment and investigation. I follow every patient with a confirmed diagnosis up at least annually both those being cared for in their own homes and those in care facilities as well as offering ongoing support for the families" - Sharran Rigby Smith, Cuckfield Medical Practice