Practical Guidelines for the Recognition and Diagnosis of Dementia

Center of Excellence for Brain Aging, New York University Langone School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.
The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.98). 05/2012; 25(3):367-82. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2012.03.100181
Source: PubMed


To date, user-friendly, practical guidelines for dementia have not been available for busy family physicians. However, the growing number of patients with dementia means that primary care physicians will have an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and subsequent management of dementia. This article provides practical guidance for the recognition and diagnosis of dementia and is aimed at family physicians, who are usually the first clinicians to whom patients present with dementia symptoms. Because Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, this condition is the main focus of this article. We review the pathophysiology of AD and discuss recommended diagnostic protocols and the importance of early diagnosis. An AD diagnostic algorithm is provided, with clearly defined steps for screening and diagnosing AD and assessing daily functioning, behavioral symptoms, and caregiver status.

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    • "Even though a definitive diagnosis of AD can only be made by means of brain tissue post-mortem assessment, scientific advances have made it possible for early detection of abnormalities, e.g., cognitive decline, memory deficits and behavioral problems (Millard et al. 2011; Woods et al. 2003; Santacruz & Swagerty 2001). This is made possible by use of biological markers to detect biochemical changes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), presence of filamentous aggregates of misfolded Aβ, tau and α-synuclein; and presence of neurotrophins such as cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) (Forlenza et al. 2010; Trojanowski & Hampel 2011; Mao 2012; Galvin & Sadowsky 2012). A current study, however, has pointed out that the assessment of levels of Aβ in plasma and CSF may not be entirelly specific for AD (Verbeek et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Diseases involving the nervous system drastically change lives of victims and commonly increase dependency on others. This paper focuses on senile dementia from both the neuroscientific and Islamic perspectives, with special emphasis on the integration of ideas between the two different disciplines. This would enable effective implementation of strategies to address issues involving this disease across different cultures, especially among the world-wide Muslim communities. In addition, certain incongruence ideas on similar issues can be understood better. The former perspective is molded according to conventional modern science, while the latter on the analysis of various texts including the holy Qur'an, sunnah [sayings and actions of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad (pbuh)] and writings of Islamic scholars. Emphasis is particularly given on causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention of dementia.
    Journal of Religion and Health 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10943-015-0079-5 · 1.02 Impact Factor
    • "Recently, research interest has developed in detecting dementia in the primary health care setting. Though it has been estimated that around 39% of individuals afflicted with dementia seek care at specialty clinics (Galvin & Sadowsky, 2012), this percentage generally represents individuals with more advanced dementia. Most persons with mild to moderate dementia initially present to primary care physicians, often for seemingly unrelated problems , are often missed and remain undiagnosed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Validated screening tests for dementia in Arabic are lacking. Given the low levels of education among elderly in the Middle East and North Africa region, the commonly used screening instrument, the Mini Mental State Examination, is not best suited. Alternatively, the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS) was especially designed to minimize the effects of cultural learning and education. The aim of this study was to validate the RUDAS in the Arabic language (A-RUDAS), evaluate its ability to screen for mild and moderate dementia, and assess the effect of education, sex, age, depression, and recruitment site on its performance. A-RUDAS was administered to 232 elderly aged ≥65 years recruited from the communities, community-based primary care clinics, and hospital-based specialist clinics. Of these, 136 had normal cognition, and 96 had dementia. Clinicians diagnosed dementia according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria. Interviewers, blind to the cognitive status of participants, administered A-RUDAS. The psychometric properties of A-RUDAS were examined for three cutoffs. At the cutoff of ≤22, A-RUDAS exhibited good sensitivity (83%) and specificity (85%) with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 83.95%. Adjusting for age, sex, education, depression, and recruitment site, A-RUDAS score demonstrated a high level of accuracy in screening for mild and moderate dementia against DSM-IV diagnosis. The A-RUDAS is proposed for dementia screening in clinical practice and in research in Arabic-speaking populations with an optimal cutoff of ≤22.
    Aging and Mental Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1080/13607863.2015.1043620 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    • "National and international dementia guidelines recommend straightforward diagnosis of dementia and provision of information about, among other things, the course, prognosis, treatment options, services, and legal and financial issues (Patterson et al., 1999; National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK), 2007; Albert Weale et al., 2009; Segal-Gidan et al., 2011; Galvin and Sadowsky, 2012; Sorbi et al., 2012). This should be done in a manner consistent with the patient's Correspondence should be addressed to: Pim van den Dungen, Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Studies in memory clinics suggest that the majority of patients would like to know of a diagnosis of dementia. It is less clear what preferences are in the community. Our objective was to review the literature on preferences regarding disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia and to assess key arguments in favor of and against disclosure. Methods: Systematic search of empirical studies was performed in Pubmed, Embase, and Psycinfo. We extracted preferences of individuals without cognitive impairment (general population; relatives of dementia patients; and physicians) and preferences of individuals referred to a memory clinic or already diagnosed with dementia. A meta-analysis was done using a random effects model. Our main conclusions are based on studies with a response rate ≥75%. Results: We included 23 articles (9.065 respondents). In studies with individuals without cognitive impairment, the pooled percentage in favor of disclosure was 90.7% (95%CI: 83.8%-97.5%). In studies with patients who were referred to a memory clinic or already diagnosed with dementia, the pooled percentage that considered disclosure favorable was 84.8% (95%CI: 75.6%-94.0%). The central arguments in favor of disclosure pertained to autonomy and the possibility to plan one's future. Arguments against disclosure were fear of getting upset and that knowing has no use. Conclusions: The vast majority of individuals without and with cognitive impairment prefers to be informed about a diagnosis of dementia for reasons pertaining to autonomy.
    International Psychogeriatrics 06/2014; 26(10):1-16. DOI:10.1017/S1041610214000969 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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