To ensure that patients with dementia and their caregivers receive appropriate treatment and support, early diagnosis is essential but remains challenging. Real-world data from a multi-national, cross-sectional survey of physicians and their patients were analyzed to quantify the diagnostic pathway for dementia, including a focus on severity of patients' cognitive impairment (CI) at the time of symptom onset, referral and subsequent diagnosis. Data were collected for 7,620 patients with CI. Most patients saw a healthcare professional within 1 year of first symptoms and received a diagnosis within 3-7 months of initial consultation. However, only 20% of patients received a diagnosis before their disease progressed beyond the prodromal stage and 23.5% already had moderate CI at diagnosis. These findings show that the goal of identifying and diagnosing CI at the earliest stages of disease is, for many patients, not achieved. Efforts toward public awareness and proactive, earlier detection and intervention, must be maintained-indeed where possible invigorated.
- Journal Article