Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, authors backed a model screening people on the basis of a series of ‘red flags’ such as multiple falls, more than seven prescribed medications, agitation and more than two Accident and Emergency hospitalisations.
They called for more trials evaluating dementia screening in primary care to assess tests for the onset of dementia.
Authors said: ‘As new treatments for dementia become available, pressure will increase for earlier and faster dementia diagnosis before screening.
‘To develop the basis for a screening programme, well-designed randomised controlled trials of enhanced case detection in primary care compared with a formal screening programme in sufficiently large populations measuring relevant outcomes are required.’
JAMA (2007) 298: 2409-2411