The majority of people with dementia have never seen a doctor about their memory and thinking problems, according to a new study published in the November 26, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
In the study, 55 percent of the people with dementia had never had an evaluation of their thinking and memory skills with a doctor.
“These results suggest that approximately 1.8 million Americans over the age of 70 with dementia have never had an evaluation of their cognitive abilities,” said study author Vikas Kotagal, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. “Yet early evaluation and identification of people with dementia may help them receive care earlier.”
Kotagal said early diagnosis can help families make plans for care, help with day-to-day tasks and watch for problems that can occur. In some instances, these interventions could substantially improve the person’s quality of life.
The study was part of a larger, nationally representative, community-based study called the Health and Retirement Study. From that study, 845 people age 70 and older were evaluated for dementia. For each participant, a spouse, child or other person who knew the person well was asked whether the participant had ever seen a doctor for any concerns about memory or thinking.
A total of 297 of the participants met the criteria for dementia. Of those, 45 percent had seen a doctor about their memory problems, compared to 5 percent of those with memory and thinking problems that did not meet the criteria for dementia, and 1 percent of those with normal memory and thinking skills.
The researchers found that people who were married were more than twice as likely to have a screening as people who were not married. “It’s possible that spouses feel more comfortable than children raising concerns with their spouse or a health care provider,” said Kotagal. “Another possibility could be that unmarried elderly people may be more reluctant to share their concerns with their doctor if they are worried about the impact it could have on their independence.”
Other demographic factors did not have an effect on whether or not people had screenings, including race, socioeconomic status, the number of children and whether children lived close to the parents. “Our results show that the number and proximity of children is no substitute for having a spouse as a caregiver when it comes to seeking medical care for memory problems for a loved one,” Kotagal said.
People with more severe cognitive impairment were also more likely to have seen a doctor for an evaluation than people with less severe memory and thinking problems.
The study was supported by the University of Michigan, National Institute on Aging and University of Utah.
To learn more about dementia, please visit www.aan.com/patients
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy