Cambridge experts could reduce dementia diagnosis time

Cambridge experts could reduce dementia diagnosis time
Cambridge experts could reduce dementia diagnosis time Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

New technology, part pioneered in Cambridge, could reduce the time it takes to diagnose dementia from 18 months to three.

Cambridge Cognition has been working with London-based medical imaging company IXICO, and experts from universities across the country, to develop new technology that will help diagnosis. The new technology helps make it easier to spot the early signs of dementia:

There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, but fewer than half of people with the condition have a diagnosis."

– Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer's Society
The new digital diagnosis system will be piloted on 200 patients
The new digital diagnosis system will be piloted on 200 patients Credit: Jim Fitzgerald/AP/Press Association Images

The new digital diagnosis system will be piloted on 200 patients at two health centres - one in South London, and the other in Sussex. Scientists believe that if it was rolled out nationally it would double the current diagnosis rate. The project has been awarded a £1.8 million grant from Biomedical Catalyst, which is a Government-funded programme operated by the Medical Research Council and Technology Strategy Board.

At the moment 1 in 3 people over 65 years old are affected by dementia, but that number is set to double in the next 30 years. The Prime Minister has pledged to double funding into dementia by 2015. He also wants the country to be a world leader in researching the syndrome.