Date of this Version

1-1-2013

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Le Couteur, D. G., Doust, J., Creasey, H., & Brayne, C. (2013). Political drive to screen for pre-dementia: Not evidence based and ignores the harms of diagnosis. BMJ (Online), 347(7925).

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© Copyright,The Authors, 2013

2013 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 111700

ISSN

1756-1833

Abstract

Current policy in many countries is aimed at increasing the rates of diagnosis of dementia and cognitive impairment.1 2 3 This policy drive has been accompanied by research into early detection of dementia, including preclinical identification of underlying neurobiology that might later be associated with dementia.4 Although the clinical features of people with established dementia are unmistakable,5 6 the ability of these preclinical features to predict future disease is less clear. Nevertheless, the belief that there is value in screening for “pre-dementia” or mild cognitive impairment is creeping into clinical practice, with the resulting overdiagnosis having potential adverse consequences for individual patients, resource allocation, and research.

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