First national dementia guidelines emphasise GPs' role

GPs have been advised not to order “fancy” imaging to diagnose dementia, but to use a systematic approach.

The recommendations come in the first-ever NHMRC-approved dementia guidelines, which emphasise the importance of timely diagnosis.

The guidelines say GPs should explore symptoms when they are first raised by patients or a family member, rather than dismissing them as “a part of ageing”.

A patient history, cognitive assessment, medication review and blood tests should be used for diagnosis, with CT scan or MRI used to exclude other pathologies.