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National Screening for Dementia


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
The following is an extract from the Government Website regarding the refusal to implement universal screening for dementia.

I think I agree with the verdict until such time as there is a cure or better help in slowing down the disease.
Do you Agree?


Following an extensive review of the evidence, the Committee concluded that the current test for dementia, which is a form of questionnaire, does not accurately identify those people who have dementia and those who do not.

To recommend screening, the Committee would need to be confident that by acting early, treatments would slow or even prevent this serious disease. At the moment these treatments do not exist.

Dr Anne Mackie, Director of Programmes for the UK NSC, said:

While the current test would identify people with mild cognitive impairment, many of them would not go on to actually develop dementia. The evidence shows us that for every 100 people aged 65 tested, 18 would test positive, but only 6 of these would have dementia and 1 case would be missed.

This means we cannot recommend universal screening.

Dr Charles Alessi, dementia lead for PHE, said:

In the absence of a treatment or cure, it is important that we take action to reduce the numbers of people getting dementia, delay the onset of dementia or reduce its impact.

PHE and the UK Health Forum published the ground-breaking Blackfriars Consensus earlier this year, which makes the case for concerted action to reduce people’s risk of dementia by supporting them to live healthier lives by doing things like eating well, being active and not smoking.


Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
I agree that there is no point in universal screening for dementia. Many would simply not go and surely it would not be compulsory.

I would however think that the Government should encourage all people over, say 65, to have POA and to make a will.


Account Closed
May 30, 2012

AIUI the trouble is that the MMSE and similar tests aren't actually a test for dementia, although they can be indicative of it. Given the accuracy figures quoted, I can see why the recommendation was not to introduce national screening.