As it stands many cases go undiagnosed simply because sufferers are reluctant to seek medical help. The most recent NHS statistics show that 249,463 people in England have been diagnosed with dementia by their GP, although according to Alzheimer’s Society there are actually around 575,000 sufferers.
Head of policy at the Alzheimer’s Society, Andrew Chidgey has expressed concern about the low diagnosis rates in England and has said more needs to be done to increase understanding of dementia amongst the public and GPs to ensure swift and timely diagnoses are made.
It is thought that the low number of diagnoses is partly due to a lack of dementia training which is available for GPs, meaning that it is rare for an individual to be referred to memory clinics or special services which could offer treatment.
Researchers also found that many people who are concerned about memory problems are putting of paying a visit to their GP because of low awareness of the early signs of dementia. If you or someone you know are concerned you may be suffering from symptoms indicative of dementia then it is important you visit your GP as soon as possible, as they will be able to provide you with a professional diagnosis, support and medical care.