Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most important keys to this neurological disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the best-known neurological diseases. Recently, a new study has highlighted the presence of neurological diseases among people with disabilities. Up to 9 of the 15 most frequent diseases among people with disabilities are of this type, affecting the brain.
In order to advance in improving the diagnostic process, while contributing to raising awareness and awareness of the importance of early detection of dementia, the Network of Active Agents in the world Alzheimer’s Confederation in 2021is promoting an initiative for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, and has approved the Decalogue for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease”.
This document highlights different aspects related to early detection; it also proposes lines of action to promote early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. For the president of CEAFA, Mariló Almagro, “the common objective must be to fight against the existing under-diagnosis”. Another key is to “move proactively towards an early, early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias”.
Alliances in favor of Alzheimer’s disease
This Network, created with the aim of carrying out alliances and synergies between key agents, highlights the value and importance of early diagnosis as an unavoidable starting point and key factor to initiate any process of a comprehensive approach to Alzheimer’s and other dementias, seeking, among other aspects, early and effective intervention as a way to extend the periods of quality of life of those affected, and also as a means to combat late diagnosis and under-diagnosis.
Another of the ultimate goals of the Active Agents Network is to promote public education and the involvement of health professionals in the early detection of dementia. To do this, they have the pre-diagnostic tool.
Decalogue for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease
The following is the Decalogue for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease:
10. Early diagnosis
Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease allows the affected person greater possibilities of therapeutic intervention and, therefore, extends the periods of quality of life, increasing over time their personal autonomy and independence to develop their lives fully. This is important, not only for the person with the disease but also for the family itself.
9. Relationship between early diagnosis and cost savings
There is a relationship between early diagnosis and cost savings in the care of the sick person, as he or she will need less specialized care for a longer period of time. This saving will benefit several agents involved in care: the person suffering from Alzheimer’s, the family caregiver and the State.
8. Diagnosis, the starting point
Having a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is the necessary starting point to place the binomial (patient-caregiver) at the center of the system, receiving in time and quality the necessary health treatments and social resources adapted to slow down the progression of the disease, thus seeking planned interdisciplinary care and with continuous monitoring and support of the affected persons.
7. Planning the approach to the disease
Early diagnosis allows the affected person and the family to initiate the processes of planning the approach to the consequences of the disease, therapeutic intervention, and vital decision-making, favoring future decision-making and planning long-term care, taking into account the systems of social, health, labor, legal and legal protection.
6. Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease
To promote the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, it is necessary that possible cases of dementia have rapid and timely access from Primary Care to the Specialized Care System, with the aim of communicating the diagnosis to the affected person as soon as possible, as well as to his or her family environment.
This will require a reduction in the time between consultations between the two health care services.
5. Diagnosis reduces and avoids Alzheimer’s alarms
Diagnosis is the essential tool to reduce and avoid the alarming figures represented by the underdiagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and allows the immediate implementation of all the pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies that contribute to slowing down the evolution of the disease.
4. Raising social awareness
In order to identify and detect possible cases of risk and act in a coordinated manner with the families involved and facilitate rapid access to diagnosis, it is important to raise social awareness about the warning signs of dementia and to publicize various pre-diagnostic tools that warn of the need to visit health professionals to confirm a possible case of dementia.
3. Two keys to understanding Alzheimer’s disease
Although Alzheimer’s disease has no known cause, there are two aspects that can contribute to the early diagnosis of this neurodegenerative disease: raising awareness of the risk factors that can lead to suffering from this disease and promoting active and healthy aging among society.
Knowing the risk factors allows prevention measures to be put into practice, and prevention is useful at all stages of the disease.
2. New opportunities for research
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease allows a greater number of people to be diagnosed in the initial stages of the disease, opening up new opportunities for biomedical and social research, since most of the projects are focused on being able to start any type of intervention in time, seeking to slow down, as far as possible, the evolution of the disease.
1. The important social action
Social action and the promotion of social support networks will allow progress in building new friendly and supportive communities with dementia, capable of generating mechanisms for early detection of risk cases, avoiding exclusion and stigmatization of people with dementia by being integrated into their social environment, and encouraging them to be people with a voice that is heard and taken into account.
In short, people with dementia are treated with dignity, appropriately, and with full rights in any decision-making process to be adopted by the actors involved in the comprehensive approach to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In 2022 the Network organizes ‘Meetings with Experts’, a series of training Webinars given by representatives of each of the member organizations. In addition, informative material on healthy lifestyle habits and risk factors that can help prevent or delay up to 40% of dementias will be published and disseminated.