How GPs Can Help With Dementia

Ashok Bharucha

November 4, 2022


Whether you’re living with dementia or concerned about a loved one, GPs can help you find the proper treatment. They can perform a brain scan to rule out other causes. They can also prescribe non-medication solutions, which may be better for dementia patients than drugs. And they can also provide support for families and patients.

GPs can diagnose dementia.

As the government tries to increase the number of patients diagnosed with dementia, GPs are encouraged to take on additional training to help them diagnose dementia. A recent King’s Fund study found that the quality of diagnoses varies. Frontline medical staff must understand common conditions such as dementia, which is why GPs are paid for their work.

The CCG said the initiative is intended to reduce the delays in diagnosis. While dementia is a complex condition, well-trained GPs can accurately diagnose dementia and refer patients to specialist services sooner.

Brain scans can rule out other causes.

To diagnose dementia, doctors often order brain scans to rule out other causes. These tests examine the brain and spinal cord to see if other illnesses are causing symptoms. They can also check for any changes in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, which can indicate another disease.

While these tests cannot distinguish between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, they can help determine the exact type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia associated with distinct brain changes. Vascular dementia is characterized by problems with the blood vessels in the brain. Some patients have mixed forms of dementia, which includes elements of both types.

Physicians provide support for patients and families.

Physicians can provide critical support for patients and families living with dementia. The training they receive can help them recognize early signs of dementia and improve their clinical skills. In one study, physicians who completed dementia training reported increased confidence in three areas: identifying symptoms of dementia, providing education to patients, and referrals to community resources. The results of this study are encouraging, as they suggest that this training can improve clinical practice.

Physicians support patients and families with dementia by providing diagnostic evaluations, treatment plans, educational materials, and specialist referrals. These services can improve the quality of life and overall outcomes for patients and families with dementia.

Early diagnosis is essential.

Early diagnosis of dementia is critical to managing the disease and maximizing the quality of life for the person with it. An early diagnosis will enable an individual to access necessary treatment and help their family prepare for the future. This includes making the necessary arrangements, including living arrangements, and finding appropriate aids and services. In addition, early diagnosis will enable an individual to be more involved in their own lives and the decision-making processes.

Although early diagnosis is critical for patients and their families, this doesn’t mean a person with dementia should go without medical help or care. It’s also essential for the person to have someone around at the time of the diagnosis to support them and answer their questions. It is necessary to schedule time with a healthcare professional to discuss the diagnosis and determine whether it’s a good idea to take a particular medication. In addition, it is essential to ask the doctor about any potential side effects or other important information. Another important way to get support from others is through Dementia Australia, which can help connect people with dementia to the local community.

Treatment options

Treatment options for dementia depend on the severity of the disease, the symptoms the individual is experiencing, and the care given by family and friends. Some treatments may include medication, which is often the first line of defense. Others may involve therapies aimed at preserving the patient’s skills. For example, drugs are often given to control restlessness. Other more radical treatments include modifying the patient’s living situation to make it less stressful. A person with dementia needs a stable structure in their daily life. In addition, they may require 24-hour care.

While medication is not a cure for dementia, many different types of medications are available to combat dementia symptoms. Some drugs, such as cholinesterase inhibitors, are used to treat the early stages of the disease. However, they may have side effects, including gastrointestinal upset. These medications are generally prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients but can also be used to treat other forms of dementia. Cholinesterase inhibitors include donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine.


There are numerous evidence-based resources for doctors to use when working with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease. These resources are available online and from your local Alzheimer’s Society. They can help you understand the disorder, provide education and support for family members, and refer you to appropriate care and support. The Alzheimer’s Society offers various training programs and resources to help physicians, family caregivers, and caregivers of individuals with dementia.

It can be challenging to deal with the changes in behavior that can occur with dementia. People with the disease may experience mood changes and behave differently, including wandering, apathy, and paranoia. Caregivers are often left to navigate these changes. For these reasons, they should be equipped with a comprehensive care plan.