Horizon programme on Alzheimers. Why I won’t have another brain scan locally

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:


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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