Misconceptions about dementia are putting lives at risk

January 23, 2018

Dr Emer MacSweeney, CEO and medical director at Re:Cognition Health, talks to Care & Nursing Essentials Magazine about the work of the dementia clinic and how misconceptions about cognitive decline can lead to the early signs of Alzheimer’s being missed…

How does Re:Cognition Health support people with dementia? Can you give some specific examples as to the most effective support?

Re:Cognition Health is an industry leader with a team of  expert cognitive consultants and clinical  professionals who work, collaboratively,  to diagnose and support individuals showing symptoms of cognitive decline. Using the latest medical research and evidence based treatments, the Re:Cognition Health team are passionate about transforming and optimising cognitive performance through education, clinical excellence and provide early  access to the most advanced treatments available, worldwide. 

The Re:Cognition Clinics in London, Surrey, Birmingham and Plymouth are also major centres for international trials of disease-modifying and new symptomatic drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions.

For example: medications which include monoclonal antibodies and BACE inhibitors to reduce further accumulation of toxic abeta amyloid protein in the brain, are designed to slow progression of disease and symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease. dementia clinic emer macsweeney

How are clinical trials advancing in order to help the medical world understand how to treat and prevent neurological diseases?

Clinical trials are essential for advancing our understanding of medicine and improving the healthcare and quality of life for everyone affected by dementia and cognitive impairment. By participating in an international clinical study, individuals can gain the potential personal benefit of early access to a new treatment, whilst also having an important global impact on our ability to treat a given condition. Results from clinical trials are always encouraging, bringing us ever closer to treatments to slow down or, ideally, halt the progression of the disease and to improve its symptoms.

With the introduction of new biomarkers to detect evidence of Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stage, there is reason for cautious optimism that new-generation medications will delay the progression of disease and also boost cognition. Just as research through clinical studies has improved our outlook for numerous diseases including previously fatal infections and certain forms of cancer; the same action is being taken today for Alzheimer’s disease.

Why do you think the public have misconceptions about dementia and its link to death?

This is due to lack of accurate information; despite all efforts to date, there is still a massive requirement for education for the public to enable every one to be alert to the early symptoms of cognitive impairment. Today there is still a massive ignorance about the symptoms of dementia, not to mind early decline in cognition. In a recent YouGov survey commissioned by  Re:Cognition Health, it was found that 49% of those questioned didn’t realise that the disease is fatal, despite dementia being the leading cause of death in England and Wales and the only cause of death, globally, that is still on the rise. 

In the survey, it was also revealed that 11% of Britons are not able to identify, accurately, the common symptoms of dementia.  The Re:Cognition Health team are  passionate about educating the public on symptoms of early cognitive decline and dementia as an early diagnosis, today,  can give the individual a chance to change their future. 


Early symptoms of dementia include:

·      Short-term memory loss

·      Repeatedly asking the same questions

·      Changes in behaviour – unexpected/uncharacteristic anger and changes in mood 

·      Confusion

·      Getting lost in a familiar environment

·      Forgetting words/problems with speech and language

·      Loss of sense of direction/disorientation

·      Difficulty in performing everyday (seemingly normal) tasks

·      Misplacing items

·      Difficulty making decisions and planning

·      Issues with balancing and spatial awareness

·      Becoming passive and disinterested

·      Problems with calculating

How can clinical trials help an individual suffering from dementia?

Involvement in clinical trials enables individuals to receive the next-generation emerging medications, free of charge, before these medications are licensed for global use. Participants receive outstanding medical care and are monitored regularly throughout the study by a team of cognitive experts. All medical costs are covered by the pharmaceutical company, so the very best care and medical facilities are provided at no cost to the individual.

Enrolling in a clinical trial provides you with the opportunity to gain an early and accurate diagnosis and  early access to new generation medications, designed ideally to halt or at least slow progression of disease and symptoms. Medications available currently, through your doctor, do not work by slowing progression of disease and symptoms but are designed to just boost cognition temporarily.

For more information about Re:Cognition Health, see www.recognitionhealth.com


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