Analysis of how future dementia treatments will impact our health system and the taskforce we’re launching to overcome the unique challenges these treatments present.
What the modelling shows:
Treating earlier would result in fewer people living with dementia, and those with the condition would live with mild symptoms for longer, spending more years with a better quality of life.
What it means:
Diagnosing earlier is vital to ensuring future treatments can be effectively delivered to the right people at the right time and have the biggest positive impact. Moving the NHS towards earlier diagnosis will require an increase in awareness, both among the public and health professionals, that Alzheimer’s starts long before symptoms are present.
What we are recommending:
- NHS England and NHS Improvement should support awareness and education around the molecular-based diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
- The government needs to work with charities to increase public awareness of the value of earlier detection for dementia.
- The NHS needs to prepare to diagnose the diseases that cause dementia more accurately and at a much earlier stage, shifting to detection around 15 to 20 years earlier.
- As recommended by the Edinburgh Consensus, the NHS should pilot specialist Brain Health Clinics to test an infrastructure that could incorporate developments in diagnostics and prepare the NHS for earlier diagnosis.