`Alzheimer's Disease: Update'




Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA



A good friend of ours has Alzheimer’s disease.


Whatever the explanation may be (and there are many possible explanations) there are at present nearly a million Britons suffering from dementia.  And the number is going up annually.


Like many people with this awful disease, our friend has developed a tendency to wander. His wife asked us if we thought it would be a good idea to have him fitted with an electronic tag so that he could be found quickly if he wandered away from home. She was worried that it might be demeaning to do this. We reassured her that she should have him tagged – for his benefit as well as hers.


Indeed, I cannot see why all patients with dementia are not routinely offered an electronic tagging service. It would be a better answer than the favoured in some British hospitals where patients with Alzheimer’s are now handcuffed to their beds so that they do not require any care and attention from the nurses.


The incidence of dementia is about to rise exponentially now that doctors are now being paid £200 every time they diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve told everyone I know to be on their toes when visiting their doctor. Too much hesitation and not enough blind certainty could well lead to an inconvenient diagnosis and a place of your own on the (very short) Involuntary Euthanasia Waiting List.  


Medical journalists in the UK claim that this is the first time doctors have been paid to make a specific diagnosis but, as usual, they’re wrong. British doctors have for years been given cash bonuses for diagnosing a wide range of disorders – including asthma, diabetes, heart disease and that artificial diagnostic confection known as ‘COPD’.


It is, therefore, no surprise to discover that (officially at least) these diseases are becoming commoner by the week.




Copyright Vernon Coleman 2016