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Diagnosis of dementia:
Initial assessment in non-specialist settings
At the initial assessment take a history (including cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms, and the impact symptoms have on their daily life):
If dementia is still suspected after initial assessment
When using cognitive testing, use a validated brief structured cognitive instrument such as:
When taking a history from someone who knows the person with suspected dementia, consider supplementing this with a structured instrument such as the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) or the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ).
Refer the person to a specialist dementia diagnostic service (such as a memory clinic or community old age psychiatry service) if:
If the person has suspected rapidly-progressive dementia, refer them to a neurological service with access to tests (including cerebrospinal fluid examination) for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and similar conditions.