The authors of this challenging article suggest that proposals for a premature programme of screening of the elderly population for dementia cases could end in mistakes comparable to the “great prostate mistake” of recent years (a policy since reversed), whereby an inadequate screening test is thought to have resulted in widespread overtreatment for prostate cancer, unintended harm and unnecessary expense.
“Despite the media hype, the promise of many risk factors and therapies has yielded little in terms of tangible outcomes for dementia”. (p.1441)
The authors suggest a few modest proposals of their own regarding the direction of future comprehensive research mapping programmes for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of dementia.
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Brayne, C. [and] Davies, D. (2012). Making Alzheimer’s and dementia research fit for populations. Lancet, October 20th 2012: Vol.380(9851), pp.1441-1443.
A related article:
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Hawkes, N. (2013). Systematic review finds no benefits to population screening for dementia. BMJ. July 19th 2013; 347: f4638.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 5, January 2013].