On the agenda - Self-test for signs of Alzheimer's

In a nutshell Patients will be able to test themselves for early signs of Alzheimer's disease - the most common cause of dementia - with a new mental agility quiz. Researchers at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge found that a new test can more accurately detect Alzheimer's than the traditional test. Patients will potentially be able to test themselves while sitting in a hospital or a GP's waiting room.

Alzheimer's test: allows patient to self-diagnose
Alzheimer's test: allows patient to self-diagnose

What’s the big deal?
Researchers say the new quiz provides more accurate results than the standard Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). The research was published by the BMJ.

What were the results?
Jeremy Brown, a consultant neurologist at Addenbrooke’s, said the new Test Your Memory (TYM)
evaluation detected 93 per cent of patients with Alzheimer’s in a trial involving 540 healthy people
and 139 patients. The MMSE detected only 52 per cent.

PR strategy
The story was sent out as part of the BMJ’s weekly press release to national and specialist journalists. The Alzheimer’s Research Trust press office also did active PR on the story and answered calls from the media.

Media coverage
The story was picked up by the Daily Mail, The Independent, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Mail ran with the headline: ‘The simple test that can spot Alzheimer’s in five minutes’. The story also appeared on the BBC Health website. On TV, the BBC News at Six ran the story as the fifth item on its bulletin.

Stats

0.7m people in the UK suffer from dementia

66% of people with dementia remain undiagnosed

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