Visual hallucinations are associated with many clinical conditions of which eye disease (Charles Bonnet Syndrome), Parkinson's disease and 'the dementias' (including Alzheimer's disease) are the most important in terms of the number of people affected. Whatever their cause, the hallucinations can result in significant distress for patients and carers and have wider implications for the NHS. Yet, surprisingly, we know little about them or their treatment. The NIHR SHAPED programme is tasked with finding out key information needed to advise patients, carers and the NHS as a whole. It is currently collecting data from people with each of the conditions in different parts of the country to find out:
- how many people have visual hallucinations
- what happens to the hallucinations over time
- how the hallucinations impact on quality of life and their economic cost
- the types of services needed to support people with hallucinations and
- candidate treatments for future large-scale clinical trials.
The information will result in guidelines to be released in 2018 for NHS professionals, patients and carers on the clinical management of visual hallucinations.
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