Dementia: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 18 September 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support research into the development of new, scalable diagnostic tests for dementia; and what assessment they have of the current proportion of patients receiving an accurate dementia diagnosis that includes a specialist diagnosis of the sub-type of dementia.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Government responsibility for delivering dementia research is shared between the Department of Health and Social Care, with research delivered by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, with research delivered via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The NIHR and has invested nearly £11 million to develop new digital approaches for the early detection and diagnosis of dementia. The NIHR-funded SABRE study aims to translate the diagnostic capability of spatial tests into routine clinical practice for use in ageing populations to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease.

Through the UKRI-funded UK Dementia Research Institute, scientists are undertaking research on the biological mechanisms of dementia, driving early-stage development of diagnostics and treatments, and developing innovative technologies for assisted living.

From April 2023, NHS England started collecting data on dementia sub types from GP systems under the following categories: Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Mixed and Other. This was included in the monthly publication of Primary Care Dementia Data from 20 July 2023.

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