“A resident-run initiative in a geriatric clinic clearly shows that when screening for cognitive impairment becomes a priority, to screen all patients opens the door toward timely intervention and optimized outcomes in this high-risk population.…The goal of the project was to implement a standardized process that would increase the number of geriatric patients who underwent baseline cognitive screening.
Commenting on the findings for Medscape Medical News, Zaldy Tan, MD, MPH, medical director, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, University of California, Los Angeles, noted that dementia, cognitive impairment, and especially Alzheimer’s disease are underdiagnosed and underrecognized in the primary care setting in the United States.
Although the US Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend routine screening for dementia in primary care practice, it is appropriate to screen patients such as those screened in the current study, who were being treated in a geriatric clinic, Dr Tan added…Dr Tan also emphasized that physicians need to identify people with cognitive impairment because, although there is still no cure for dementia, “there are a lot of interventions that can impact patient’s lives, starting off with FDA-approved medications for dementia, more caregiver education and support groups, and we can enroll patients into clinical trials if available as well,” he said.
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