|[August 19, 2014]
GE Healthcare: New Dementia Research Reveals Overwhelming Demand for "The Value of Knowing"
CHALFONT ST GILES, England --(Business Wire)--
Three out of four people would want to know what kind of neurological
disorder they had even if there was no cure, according to new global
research from GE Healthcare. An even higher percentage of respondents,
81%, would want to identify an incurable neurological disorder if it
affected somebody close to them, with more women (84%) wanting to know
than men (76%). The "Value
of Knowing" global survey of 10,000 adults across 10 countries
explored perspectives on incurable neurological disorders including
Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD).
Prepared to Pay for Diagnosis
While the overwhelming consensus (94%) is that the government or health
insurance providers should cover diagnosis, approximately half (51%) of
respondents indicated that they would even be prepared to pay for a
diagnosis themselves. This sentiment was particularly prevalent in India
and China, where 71% and 83% respectively, said they would be prepared
to pay. This was echoed by almost one half of those questioned in Russia
and around one-third of respondents in UK, USA and Japan.
"What these statistics tell us is just how strongly people feel about
tackling neurological disorders like dementia," said Marc Wortmann,
Executive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International. "Worldwide,
nearly 44 million people have dementia and this number is expected to
nearly double in 20 years as the world's population ages1.
Although there is no cure yet, a timely diagnosis is useful for people
with dementia to get access to current treatment, services and support,
both medical and non-medical. Governments and healthcare systems need to
ensure ready access to the diagnostic tools already available to
accurately diagnose disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, so
that people can manage the symptoms as early as possible."
When people surveyed were asked why they would want to know, the most
common answer (71%) was to start treatment that could help manage the
symptoms of the disease. Other reasons included the opportunity to
change lifestyle to potentially slow the impact of the illness (66%),
and the ability to make informed decisions (62%). Those who would not
want to know cited undue worry and the futility of knowing about their
disorder without being able to control it.
Dr. Ben Newton, Director of PET Neurology for GE Healthcare, commented,
"It's understandable that dementia is a frighteningtopic for people.
That said, although there are currently no cures for many neurological
disorders, there are symptom-modifying therapies and approaches
available if detected early enough. It's interesting to note that the
majority of respondents with more experience of a neurological disorder
via a loved one for example, said that they would want to know, in spite
of there being no cure."
Recognizing the Symptoms
The research also probed respondents' recognition of the possible signs
and symptoms of dementia. While a majority recognized memory loss (70%)
and disorientation (61%) as signs of dementia, less than half of those
surveyed were able to identify other very common symptoms, including
language problems, personality, mood and behavior changes, and loss of
Dr. Newton added, "Understanding and knowing all the symptoms of a
neurological disorder are critical to helping loved ones who may be
showing early signs. Acting early on any concerns may mean patients have
access to earlier diagnosis and intervention, which could help to manage
and delay the impact of a disorder."
Dementia: The Facts2
There are more than 450 million people living with neuropsychiatric
and neurodegenerative disorders.
There is currently no cure for dementia.
Every four seconds a new case of dementia is diagnosed.
Worldwide, 44 million people are living with dementia - and this
number is set to double every 20 years.
Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that
affect memory, thinking, behavior and emotion.
Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficultly
performing familiar tasks, problems with language and changes in
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other forms
of dementia include vascular disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and
The worldwide costs of dementia exceeded 1% of global GDP in 2010, at
US$604 billion. As a result, if dementia care were a country, it would
be the world's 18th largest economy. If it were a company, it would be
the world's largest by annual revenue.
For decades, GE Healthcare has produced diagnostics scanners, imaging
agents and software to help physicians see more clearly inside the brain
and aid better patient management. Between 2010 and 2020, GE Healthcare
plans to invest over $500 million in research into neurological
disorders. The investment crosses all lines of GE Healthcare and focuses
on developing new neurology diagnostic solutions, educating consumers,
and expanding research already in progress. Target (News - Alert) areas include
diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease,
Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, concussion and
traumatic brain injury.
In 2013, GE healthymagination and the National Football League announced
a $60 million collaboration to help speed diagnosis and improve
treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. The initiative includes a
four-year, $40 million research and development program to evaluate and
develop next generation imaging technologies and a two-year open
innovation challenge with GE, NFL and Under Armour to invest up to $20
million in research and technology to better understand, diagnose and
protect against mild traumatic brain injury.
The research was conducted by Millward Brown during June 2014 across 10
countries - Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia,
South Korea, UK and USA - with 1,000 nationally-representative adult
respondents in each market. Survey participants were drawn from one of
the largest global online consumer panels in the world. Each respondent
was thoroughly pre-screened to ensure they meet the specific quality
demands of the project. The performance of each respondent in the
actively managed panel was closely monitored to ensure effectiveness and
robustness. 1,000 adults per country took part in this nationally
representative survey. The survey took the form of a 15 minute
quantitative interview, administered online. Each survey participant was
invited to participate via a password-protected link and was asked for
externally validated demographic information in order to proceed and in
order to determine suitability. Various quality control procedures were
in place in order to reach a unique, genuine and representative audience
in each country.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and
services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and
more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE:GE) works on
things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough
challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and
diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing
technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps
medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
1 WHO 2012 Fact Sheet
2 Alzheimer's Disease International, Department for Health,
2007 WHO Survey, WHO 2012 Fact Sheet
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