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Podcast 146: Cognitive impairment in primary care — screen or not?
Joe Elia • February 17th, 2012
Categories: Alzheimer disease, Audio, Cognitive impairment, screening, Uncategorized
Current guidelines find no compelling therapeutic benefit to screening for cognitive impairment and dementia in primary care. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has published some research that, if not compelling, certainly suggests that clinical approaches should change.
In actively screening some 8000 veterans over age 70 during routine primary care visits for cognitive impairment, researchers found a quarter to have signs suggesting further investigation was needed. When all was said and done, 11% had cognitive impairment; that’s two to three times the rate found in settings where physicians waited for impairment to manifest itself clinically.
We interview the lead author, who offers reasons why he thinks simple screening should be routine in elderly populations, despite the current absence of treatments for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Mini-Cog screening test (free)