Home-Based Assessment Tool for Dementia Screening – The home-based computer software is patterned after the paper-and-pencil Clock Drawing Test

October 24, 2012

Source: Georgia Tech

Follow this link for the news story:  Science Daily  

Follow this link for the journal abstract: Hyungsin Kim, (2012) Home-based computerized cognitive assessment tool for dementia screening, Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments , Volume 4 (5) pp. 429-442

Date of Publication: 1st October 2012

Publication type: Website & Journal paper

In a nutshell:  Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool that allows adults to screen themselves for early signs of dementia. The home-based computer software is patterned after the paper-and-pencil Clock Drawing Test, one of health care’s most commonly used screening exams for cognitive impairment.

Georgia Tech’s ClockMe system eliminates the paper trail and computerizes the test into two main components: the ClockReader Application and the ClockAnalyzer Application. Click here to see a video demo.

ClockReader is the actual test and is taken with a stylus and computer or tablet. The participant is given a specific time and instructed to draw a clock with numbers and the correct minute and hour hands. Once completed, the sketch is emailed to a clinician, who uses the ClockAnalyzer Application to score the test. The software checks for 13 traits. They include correct placement of numbers and hands without extra markings. People with cognitive impairment frequently draw clocks with missing or extra numbers. Digits are sometimes drawn outside of the clock. The time is often incorrect.

Click here to watch the video demonstration of the Clock Reader image is on the right-hand side.

Length of publication: 12 pages

Supporting Information:

2012 Simple scoring of the clock drawing test for dementia screening

2010 Is the Clock Drawing Test a screening tool for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment? A systematic review


More dementia patients ‘likely to have undiagnosed dementia’

October 24, 2012

Source: BBC

Link to the –  RCPE news story

Date of publication: 7th September 2012

In a nutshell – News Story: Older people being treated in Scottish hospitals are more likely to have undiagnosed dementia, a study by doctors has found. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) found dementia was present in 25% of all in-patients. Of that number, about half of them – an estimated 1,600 people – do not know they have it, the study found.

RCPE has now called for medical training to change in order to diagnose the condition. The organisation said undiagnosed dementia can result in inappropriate care and an increased length of hospital stay.

Statistics also showed that dementia was present in around 40% of in-patients aged over 70.

Increasing burden

The RCPE’s Alasdair MacLullich, professor of geriatric medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, said: “The diagnosis and assessment of dementia presents a major challenge to medical staff in hospitals who until recently have not needed to be trained in its diagnosis and treatment.

“Medical training must evolve in line with the evolving dementia epidemic to ensure that medical staff are trained in diagnosing, assessing and treating dementia.

“Additionally, there must be sufficient numbers of trained doctors to cope with this increasing burden of disease.”

Henry Simmons, chief executive of the charity Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We greatly welcome this focus on improving the rates of dementia diagnosis in Scotland’s hospitals.

“There have been some significant improvements made to NHS training, however, this still relies on staff being aware that the person in question has dementia, which is currently difficult unless they have an existing diagnosis.

“It is only with a diagnosis that we can ensure not only more appropriate hospital care but also offer better information, advice and community-based support for the person and their family.”

Unlocking Diagnosis – Fewer than half the people thought to have dementia have been formally diagnosed

September 5, 2012

Source: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia (APPG) – Alzheimer’s Society

Follow this link for the full report:  Unlocking Diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementia  and Website

Date of publication: July 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell:   Fewer than half the people thought to have dementia have been formally diagnosed, and those with a diagnosis may have waited up to a year for it to have their condition confirmed. These are the startling reminders published in the all-party parliamentary group on dementia’s latest report, Unlocking diagnosis.

The report found that there were problems throughout the process of diagnosis. These problems included people having poor understanding of dementia and therefore not going to see their to doctor, the issues faced by GPs and memory specialists in diagnosing people with dementia, and the problems with the quality of support offered immediately following diagnosis. In particular, the inquiry heard a large volume of evidence on problems in the following areas:

  • Public education
  • Primary care
  • Variability in memory services
  • Post diagnosis support
  • Process of the inquiry

Length of publication: 47 pages

Audit of antipsychotic prescribing for dementia – falls & rises

September 5, 2012

Source: NHS Information Centre

Follow this link for the full report National Dementia & Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit 2012 and Website

Date of publication: July 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell:  the results showed a 52% decrease in the rate of prescribing between 2008 and 2011. Prescriptions for antipsychotics in people newly diagnosed (diagnosed each year with a prescription of an antipsychotic within 12 months of diagnosis) with dementia have also reduced from 14.25 per cent in 2006 to 4.46 per cent in 2011which indicates that diagnosis is taking place much earlier.

  • The audit shows that over the last six years there has been an increase in the number of people diagnosed with dementia.
  • The audit shows that a higher proportion of women are diagnosed with dementia than men with the majority of people diagnosed with dementia aged 65 years and above.
  • The audit suggests that the proportion of dementia sufferers receiving prescriptions of antipsychotic medication is decreasing.

Length of publication: 28 pages

Defeating Dementia: Building capacity to capitalise on the UK’s research strengths

August 1, 2012

Source: Alzheimer’s Research UK website

Follow this link for the Report

Date of publication: 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: The Defeating Dementia report outlines 14 recommendations to the Government and all research funders to help boost capacity and create a research environment better suited to the challenge posed by dementia.  Numbers of people living with dementia are spiralling towards one million as the population ages, costing the economy over £23billion. With the limited treatments available only alleviating some symptoms, pressure remains on research to deliver new drugs, preventions and improved diagnosis.

Length of publication: 40 pages