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Alzheimer’s Disease

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment she has made of medical developments allowing earlier identification of Alzheimer's disease; (124676)

(2) what recent assessment she has made of research on the delays in the onset of dementia which may result from early identification of Alzheimer's disease; and how she plans for such research to inform NHS practice.

The NICE clinical guideline on “Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care”, published in November 2006, recommends that as part of their role, primary health care staff should consider referring people who show signs of mild cognitive impairment for assessment by memory assessment services to aid early identification of dementia.

The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. A number of national programme studies on Alzheimer's disease and on dementia currently under way are likely to provide evidence of relevance to our understanding of the onset and development of the condition.

The main part of the Department's expenditure on health research is allocated to and managed by NHS organisations. Details of individual projects supported in the NHS, including a number concerned with the identification, detection or progress of Alzheimer's disease, can be found on the national research register at:

www.dh.gov.uk/research