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First guidelines for clinical evaluation of Alzheimers disease and other dementias

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Dr KK Aggarwal    25 July 2018

The Alzheimer’s Association has developed the first guidelines for clinical evaluation of Alzheimers disease and other dementias for Primary and Specialty Care, which were previewed at the Alzheimers Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018 in Chicago. Key recommendations include:

  1. All middle-aged or older individuals who self-report or whose care partner or clinician report cognitive, behavioral or functional changes should undergo a timely evaluation.
  2. History should be obtained not only from the patient but also from someone who knows the patient well to:
  1. Establish the presence and characteristics of any substantial changes, to categorize the cognitive behavioral syndrome.
  2. Investigate possible causes and contributing factors to arrive at a diagnosis/diagnoses.
  3. Appropriately educate, communicate findings and diagnosis, and ensure ongoing management, care and support.

    3. Concerns should not be dismissed as “normal aging” without a proper assessment.

    4. Evaluation should involve not only the patient and clinician but, almost always, also involve a care partner (e.g., family member or confidant).

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