Trends in diagnosis and treatment for people with dementia in the UK 2005-2015

Donegan, K. et al. The Lancet Public Health | Published online: 23 February 2017

Image source: The Lancet Public Health

Image shows proportion of CPRD (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) population diagnosed with dementia in the UK by region between July, 2005, and June, 2015

Background: The objectives of this study were to describe changes in the proportion of people diagnosed with dementia and the pharmacological treatments prescribed to them over a 10 year period from 2005 to 2015 at a time of UK policy strategies and prioritisation of dementia. We aimed to explore the potential impact of policy on dementia care.

Interpretation: Over the 10 years studied, there is evidence of a sustained positive change in diagnosis rates of dementia and in the quality of drug treatment provided to those diagnosed. The prescription of antidementia drugs more than doubled and the prescription of potentially hazardous antipsychotics halved after the introduction of national dementia strategies. These data support the formulation and delivery of national policy to improve the quality of care for people with dementia.

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Memories evoked in dementia patients with the help of BBC RemArc

BBC RemArc helps with Reminiscence Therapy which assists people who have dementia, their carers and families, at home, in hospital wards or in care homes to interact and converse in a natural way by stimulating the patient’s long-term memory with material from the past | BBC

Image source: BBC

It was created by the BBC’s Archive Development team with the help of experts at Dundee University, the University of St Andrews and with the support of Alzheimer’s Society.

BBC RemArc contains around 1,500 items from the BBC Archives, including around 250 video clips, 250 audio clips and over 1,000 images. The material ranges in date from the 1930s to the 2000s – much of it has not been available to the public for decades.

Read the full blog post here

View the full archive here

Autoimmune disease might be linked to dementia risk

Large, long-term study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, supports the theory that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) might have an autoimmune component.
Researchers from the University of Oxford designed a study to determine whether or not a history of hospital admission for autoimmune disease is associated with an elevated risk of future admission for dementia.

They analysed English hospital admissions data (including day cases) and mortality administrative data, from 1999 to 2012. They constructed cohorts of people admitted to hospital with a wide range of 25 autoimmune diseases (total 1,833,827), and a control cohort (about 7 million), whom they followed forward in time to see if they developed dementia.

They reported that overall, people admitted to hospital with an autoimmune disease were 20% more likely to have a subsequent admission for dementia than those without an admission for an autoimmune disease (rate ratio RR 1.20); where dementia type was specified, the RR was 1.06 for Alzheimer’s disease and 1.28 for vascular dementia.

Full reference: Wotton CJ, Goldacre MJ | Associations between specific autoimmune diseases and subsequent dementia: retrospective record-linkage cohort study, UK