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Early-onset dementia

  • Kate Jefferies and Niruj Agrawal

Summary

Dementia is is stereotypically associated with older people. However, in a significant minority it can affect people in their 40s and 50s, or even younger. Currently there is a lack of awareness, even among healthcare professionals, and there is a dearth of appropriate services for such patients. Despite the attention given to this condition by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, provision of specialist early-onset dementia services in the UK remains patchy. Carers and patients often find themselves being passed ‘from pillar to post’ between psychiatry and neurology, and also between adult, old age and liaison psychiatry. The responsibility for identifying available and appropriate help is often left with carers. This leads to unnecessary delays, causes undue distress to patients and places an added burden on carers.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Niruj Agrawal, Department of Neuropsychiatry, St George's Hospital, London SW17 0QT, UK. Email: Niruj.Agrawal@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Early-onset dementia

  • Kate Jefferies and Niruj Agrawal
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