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Early Identification of Dementia

  • J. McGlone (a1) and S. Gupta (a1)

Abstract:

Currently the diagnosis of progressive organic dementia is one of exclusion offered only after cognitive decline is well advanced. Early in the disease process, memory complaints most often bring elderly people to the attention of their family physician .This behaviour represents the first step in the process of giving a patient the medical diagnosis of organic dementia, yet no systematic method has been developed to gather such subjective information and evaluate its medical significance. We are developing a memory complaints questionnaire and a brief non-threatening memory screening instrument to help identify organic dementia in its earliest stages. The screening device will be related to more sophisticated neuropsychological measures of dementia and it should be sensitive to mental deterioration over short periods of time. The instruments will document perceived and objective changes in memory and will help the physician attribute their findings to normal aging, depression and/or degenerative CNS disease.

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