La gente desea demencia diagnosticada a pesar de ninguna curación

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | August 20, 2014
Alzheimers/Neurology
Three out of four people would want their neurological disorder diagnosed even if there is no cure for it, according to new global research from GE Healthcare. The research spanned 10 countries — Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, U.K. and the U.S. — and surveyed 1,000 nationally-represented adult respondents in each market.

The research also found that 81 percent of the respondents would want to diagnose an incurable neurological disorder if it affected someone close to them.

"What these statistics tell us is just how strongly people feel about tackling neurological disorders like dementia," Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer's Disease International, said in a statement.

Over 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia and that number is expected to hit about 75.6 million in 2030, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. Even though there isn't a cure, an early diagnosis can help patients get the access to treatments, services and support that they need.

A majority of the respondents — 94 percent — said that the government or health insurance providers should cover diagnosis but about half of them said that they would be willing to pay for it. India and China had the highest amount of respondents that were willing to pay — 71 percent and 83 percent respectively.

"Governments and healthcare systems need to ensure ready access to the diagnostic tools already available to accurately diagnose disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, so that people can manage the symptoms as early as possible," Wortmann said in a statement.

The most common answer to why they want to know their diagnosis is so they can start treatment to help manage the symptoms. The chance to adjust their lifestyles to slow the effect of the disease and the ability to make informed decisions were the other reasons.

The respondents who didn't want to know their diagnosis made that decision because they feel it would cause them unnecessary worry and that it would be useless to know if they can't control it.

The research also asked the respondents about the potential symptoms of dementia. Most of them cited memory loss and disorientation — 70 percent and 61 percent respectively — but less than half cited the other common symptoms including personality and language problems, loss of initiative, and mood and behavior changes.

"Understanding and knowing all the symptoms of a neurological disorder are critical to helping loved ones who may be showing early signs," Dr. Ben Newton, director of PET Neurology for GE, said in a statement. "Acting early on any concerns may mean patients have access to earlier diagnosis and intervention, which could help to manage and delay the impact of a disorder."

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