Friday, August 23, 2013

Older adults misdiagnosed as showing early signs of dementia by poor diagnostic methods

The researchers say they can now offer four categories of warning signs to assist diagnosis:
  • Amnestic: showing possible early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
  • Mixed: showing possible advanced stages of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
  • Dys-executive: showing dysfunction in activities like planning, abstract thinking, and behavior control
  • Visuo-spatial: showing problems with spatial awareness such as judging distance and depth perception
Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Suspecting that the current method used to assess cognitive (brain) function in older people was not sensitive enough to the wide variety of warning signs which can occur, the research group devised their own method. They then tried it out on a group of 197 healthy older people living normally in their community. They also used the traditional method on the study group and then compared the two. The conventional diagnostic tool uses typically only one measure of brain function, while the new method developed by the team uses a variety and also examines patterns of dysfunction.

JINS ArticleAre Empirically-Derived Subtypes of Mild Cognitive Impairment Consistent with Conventional Subtypes? Full article available here.

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