Could your optometrist spot signs of early dementia?

Neurologists have found that a little known syndrome that affects people's vision could be one of the first signs of a rare form of dementia. Dr Marianne Chapleau, a neurologist from the University of California in San Francisco says that if optometrists and ophthalmologists know how to look for posterior cortical atrophy (PCA or Benson's Syndrome), they could be on the front line in helping to diagnose people in the early stages of dementia. Symptoms include blurred vision, difficulties reading or drawing, problems with depth perception, increased sensitivity to bright light or shiny surfaces and mis-recognition of familiar objects. Dr Chapleau said: 'Most patients see their optometrist when they start experiencing visual symptoms. They may be referred to a specialist, but in many cases, PCA is missed.' The earlier PCA is picked up, the earlier onset dementia can be identified and support and treatment given if appropriate. Recognii has been developed to help people living with dementia overcome visual difficulties associated with the condition and enable to them access TV viewing for longer.