My name is Dr Brigid Ryan and I’m researching the process of getting a dementia diagnosis when you are under 65.
Along with my colleagues from the University of Auckland, I’m looking for people to take part in this research by answering a questionnaire and giving permission for us to access medical records. We would like to hear from people living with dementia and their care partners. You will be eligible to take part if the person with dementia developed symptoms before the age of 65.
My interest in younger onset dementia has stemmed from my research on frontotemporal dementia, which often affects people when they are under 65. After talking with patients and their families, it became clear that the needs and challenges of people with younger onset dementia are quite different than those of people who develop dementia when they are older.
International data suggest that it can take longer to get a diagnosis of dementia when you are under 65 than when you are over 65. Delayed diagnosis can be difficult for patients and whānau because of the uncertainty involved, and the delay in access to services and support. The purpose of this research is to determine how long diagnosis takes in New Zealand, and whether there is anything that can be done to speed up this process.
If you are interested in participating in this research, please contact me by phone or email.
This research has been approved by the Health and Disability Ethics Committees (20/STH/130) and is generously supported by Alzheimers New Zealand.