ITEMS IN AFP WITH KEYWORD:
There is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for the detection of progressive dementias in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). These tests carry the risk of overdiagnosis of dementia and, therefore, overtreatment.
Physicians should consider not using antipsychotics in patients with dementia. Patients with dementia, including Alzheimer disease, who are treated with antipsychotics for any length of time have a higher mortality rate than those not taking antipsychotics.
Patients with suspected dementia can be screened in the primary care office setting with a brief screening tool. A positive screening result warrants more in-depth screening tests. Evaluation for depression, laboratory studies for possible medical conditions that affect memory, and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain should be performed if cognitive impairment is confirmed.
The AAFP Cognitive Care Kit was designed to give primary care physicians access to recommended materials to identify, screen, care for, and educate patients with cognitive impairment, as well as assist caregivers.
Rather than focusing on medications to achieve a small temporary difference in cognition, patients and families might be better served if we focused more on nonpharmacologic treatments, and on more important issues, such as advance directives, driving, living arrangements, caregiver support, and home safety.
Find out which patients benefit from cholinesterase inhibitors, memantine, or vitamin E, and which nonpharmacologic therapies have the best evidence of effectiveness.
Apr 1, 2017 Issue
Alzheimer Disease: Monotherapy vs. Combination Therapy [FPIN's Help Desk Answers]
Combination treatment with memantine and donepezil results in a small improvement in cognitive function that is of uncertain clinical significance in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer disease, but no improvement in patients with mild to moderate disease.
Feb 1, 2017 Issue
The Effect of Statins on Dementia and Cognitive Decline [Cochrane for Clinicians]
Statins given in later life to patients at risk of vascular disease do not prevent dementia or cognitive decline compared with placebo. Adverse effects are similar between groups.
Dec 1, 2016 Issue
Mini-Mental State Examination for the Detection of Dementia in Older Patients [Cochrane for Clinicians]
When scores are adjusted based on a patient's education level, the MMSE may be useful to rule out a diagnosis of dementia in clinically unevaluated patients 65 years and older (sensitivity = 97%; specificity = 70%). Scores of less than 24 may also be useful to rule in dementia in patients 65 years and older (sensitivity = 85%; specificity = 90%).