Clinics Report Rise In Dementia Concerns

Fourfold Rise In People Visiting Memory Clinics Over Three Years


Dementia clinics have reported a four-fold rise in the number of people who are worried they may have the condition, prompting them to urge patients to visit their GPs instead to rule out the condition.

According to new figures from the Royal College of Physicians, England's 200 memory clinics saw an average of 1,206 patients in 2013, compared with just 317 in 2010. One-quarter of clinics now have waiting lists for tests longer than six weeks.

Speaking to the Times, Chris Butler, who runs Oxford's Cognitive Disorders Clinic, said publicity surrounding dementia may be responsible for the rising concern. Doctors have cautioned that everyday memory slips, such as losing house keys, are not necessarily indicators of Alzheimer's.

"People who are concerned about symptoms they may be experiencing are prompted to go and seek help from their GP," he said.

"However, we have been concerned that too many people who have been referred by their GP for diagnosis have to wait months for certainty about what is happening to them."