Dementia is a devastating condition that tends to affect the elderly. About 1.2 million people in France (French Alzheimer Society) and about 850,000 in the UK, are affected by dementia (UK Alzheimer Society). With growing ageing populations in both countries, these figures are projected to rise significantly over the next twenty years.
Care for dementia sufferers is costly and is an increasing challenge facing the Channel area. The average annual costs of dementia care per affected person in the UK is estimated at £32,250, and in France €22,099.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a form of dementia caused by impairment of the circulation of the fluid that bathes the brain and spine (a type of cerebrospinal fluid disorder). Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, it can be potentially reversed by surgically implanting a shunt.
This is important because 5-15% of dementia patients (equivalent of about 65,000 - 200,000 people) are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s each year and should instead be treated for NPH.
Project REVERT will address this by implementing innovative medical tools developed by project partners to diagnose NPH patients quickly and accurately as part of an integrated care pathway.
The project, which brings together world-leading expertise from Amiens (brain flow diagnostics) and Cambridge (brain pressure), will lead to improved diagnostic efficiency of NPH, which in turn will improve patients chances of leading a more independent life, with significant predicted cost savings on future health and social care provision.
Image credit: Bournemouth Borough Council via Flickr