On Wednesday evening there was a fabulous programme in the Horizon series on the latest research into Alzheimers.
The part that impressed me most was when Professor Nick Fox from the Dementia Research Centre, University College London Hospital spoke about “New technology enables us to see the first signs of Alzheimers’ which they believe can appear 10-15 years before the symptoms.
I’d seen Nicks presentation at a session in London recently where I was also speaking during the same session – can’t remember where, but it was in London. I noted then how I wanted to find out more. His passion is imaging and his experience in spotting what others miss is amazing. So I was so pleased to see it in more detail on the programme.
I remember having many scans which they said all showed nothing was wrong. It wasn’t until I had a SPECT scan that the sluggish area of my brain appeared and a diagnosis finally given. My belief is that something was there, they just missed it, however small, due to inexperience or lack of knowledge. It was the same with the person they showed on the programme who had a rare form of Alzheimer’s – he had to go through an eye op, which obviously wasn’t successful as it was dementia that was causing his sight problems. It wasn’t until Professor Nick saw him and interpreted a scan correctly that led to the correct diagnosis.
That’s why I decided not to have another scan recently when the doctor at Hull Royal suggested it. I couldn’t go through all the stress and hassle of hearing ‘there’s nothing there’ and having to start the process all over again. I believe those who work in the field of imaging must find it difficult to keep up with all the latest findings but this means that patients are often wrongly diagnosed through their lack of expertise.
However, if I could only get in a trial where Nick takes or assesses the scans, I’d trust the information being given and would be fascinated at what he had to say.
The programme showed why it’s so important for people with dementia to sign up to Join Dementia research. None of these discoveries would have been possible without willing volunteers…………..
If you missed this insightful programme you can find it on catch up or read the detail: