Challenges in the diagnosis of dementia: Insights from the United Kingdom-Brazil Dementia Workshop

Victor Calil, Emma Elliott, Wyllians Vendramini Borelli, Breno José Alencar Pires Barbosa, Jessyka Bram, Felipe de Oliveira Silva, Leonardo Galvão Machado Cardoso, Luciano Inácio Mariano, Natalia Dias, Michael Hornberger, Paulo Caramelli

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In July 2019, a group of multidisciplinary dementia researchers from Brazil and the United Kingdom (UK) met in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, to discuss and propose solutions to current challenges faced in the diagnosis, public perception and care of dementia. Here we summarize the outcomes from the workshop addressing challenges in diagnosis. Brazil faces a major problem in dementia underdiagnosis, particularly involving the population in an adverse socioeconomic context. There is poor availability of resources and specialists, and the knowledge of general practitioners and other healthcare professionals is far from satisfactory. Low education level is a further obstacle in diagnosing dementia, as the most commonly used screening tests are not designed to evaluate this population. Patients and their families must overcome the stigma of a diagnosis of dementia, which is still prevalent in Brazil and increases the burden of this condition. Whilst the UK has greater resources, dedicated memory services and a National Dementia Strategy plan, the National Health Service (NHS) has limited funding. Therefore, some challenges regarding diagnosis are common across both countries. The authors suggest possible solutions to confront these, with the goal of improving assessment and recognition of dementia and reducing misdiagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalDementia & Neuropsychologia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2020


  • Biomarkers
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Diagnosis
  • Neurobehavioral manifestations

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