Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Targets for dementia diagnoses

The difficulty and dangers of diagnosing dementia

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 14 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3162
  1. Jan A Coebergh, consultant neurologist1
  1. 1Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust, Chertsey KT16 0PZ, UK
  1. jan.coebergh{at}

As Brunet rightly says, the diagnosis belongs to the patient.1 That is precisely the problem in dementia, when the patient often has little insight and does not notice symptoms. The drive for GPs to increase diagnosis rates is admirable, but there are many unknowns and potential dangers.

Diagnosis in people with language barriers, no collateral history, chronic mental illness, epilepsy, hearing and …

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