A new study states GPs could use a set of simple questions to spot dementia in someone rather than current tests, which some claim can be time-consuming

It may be possible to diagnose dementia in someone using just three simple questions. That’s what a new study carried out on Welsh men and published in the <British Journal of General Practice> is claiming.

In a study of over 200 men, researchers discovered that three questions in particular were useful for helping to confirm a diagnosis of dementia. These were on finance, planning and reasoning, and study authors believe they were at least as accurate as the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), which is the most common way of doing an initial check for dementia.

While diagnosis rates are increasing, thanks to an increased awareness of dementia, many are concerned that people are still slipping through the net because GPs, who are usually the first port of call when memory problems strike, simply don’t have enough one-on-one time in appointments to carry out tests properly.

Researchers said, ‘This study found that three simple questions have high utility for diagnosing dementia in men who are cognitively screened. It confirmed, this could lead to less burdensome assessment where clinical assessment suggests possible dementia.’

Click the links for more information on how dementia is diagnosed, including the different tests that are carried out and what you should bring to an initial appointment with your GP.