Practical guidelines for the recognition and diagnosis of dementia

James E. Galvin, Carl H. Sadowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

To date, user-friendly, practical guidelines for dementia have not been available for busy family physicians. However, the growing number of patients with dementia means that primary care physicians will have an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and subsequent management of dementia. This article provides practical guidance for the recognition and diagnosis of dementia and is aimed at family physicians, who are usually the first clinicians to whom patients present with dementia symptoms. Because Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, this condition is the main focus of this article. We review the pathophysiology of AD and discuss recommended diagnostic protocols and the importance of early diagnosis. An AD diagnostic algorithm is provided, with clearly defined steps for screening and diagnosing AD and assessing daily functioning, behavioral symptoms, and caregiver status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic techniques and procedures
  • Guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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