Diagnosis of dementia
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Diagnosis of dementia

Malarvizhi Babu Sandilyan Consultant in old age psychiatry, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, England
Tom Dening Professor of dementia research, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England

There are two stages to making a diagnosis of dementia: establishing the presence of a dementia syndrome and determining the likely cause. Dementia should be distinguished from mild cognitive impairment, in which any cognitive and functional changes are less marked. Diagnosis of dementia is essentially clinical but investigations are helpful in excluding other disorders and in determining the underlying cause of the condition. International diagnostic criteria exist for the most common causes of dementia and these are useful for clinical and research purposes. At and following diagnosis, patients and their families require information, support and guidance about the future.

Nursing Standard. 29, 43,36-41. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.43.36.e9441

Correspondence

tom.dening@nottingham.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 04 August 2014

Accepted: 20 November 2014