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When dementia is misdiagnosed

Howard, R; Schott, J; (2021) When dementia is misdiagnosed. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , 36 (6) pp. 799-801. 10.1002/gps.5538. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore and discuss the implications of diagnostic uncertainty within services that diagnose and treat people with dementia. In particular, the difficulties associated with false positive dementia diagnoses. METHODS: Narrative review written by an Old Age Psychiatrist and a Cognitive Neurologist. RESULTS: Both false-positive and false-negative dementia diagnoses are made. These are more likely when apparent dementia is mild and in less typical cases, including when the patient is under 60, the diagnosis is less common or diagnosis has depended largely on brain imaging. In such cases, the passage of time is generally helpful in revealing diagnostic status. Reversing a dementia diagnosis can be very difficult for patients. CONCLUSION: Except in some rare situations, dementia diagnoses made in life are only "probable" and should be subject to review. Dementia diagnosis services should support patients through reversal of diagnoses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: When dementia is misdiagnosed
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/gps.5538
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.5538
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Dementia diagnosis, functional cognitive disorder, misdiagnosis, reversal of diagnosis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126232
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