Experts review current and future approaches to dementia diagnosis

Published in SAGE Publications: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology

Given that Alzheimer's disease and most of the other dementias have specific biologic findings at autopsy, one would think that the clinical diagnoses would be very straightforward. Not so! In fact, clinical diagnoses are often difficult, causing confusion in research settings and delays in treatment. The September issue of SAGE Publications' Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology brings together some of the world's experts to review the current and future approaches to dementia diagnosis as the American Psychiatric Association prepares for the fifth update of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V).

Many different issues in dementia and its diagnosis are discussed in the journal, including such topics as:

  • The frequencies of different types of dementia (about 80% of cases are Alzheimer's)
  • The differences between normal memory impairment in an aging brain and dementia
  • The agreement on the definition of dementia between the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization
  • Improved assessment tools such as brain imaging and the testing of blood and spinal fluid
  • Diagnosing non-cognitive symptoms, such as psychosis, depression, sleep disturbance, and agitation Genetic research and how it relates to dementias

  • "As new and better medications become available for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, an early and accurate diagnosis becomes increasingly important for researchers, physicians, patients and their families. This collection of articles summarizes the state-of-the-art in dementia diagnosis and points the way to a future where we might diagnose and even treat Alzheimer's disease and other dementias before classic memory symptoms are evident. This would represent a major medical advance for all of us," states guest editor, Trey Sunderland MD, from the National Institute of Mental Health, about the special issue of Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. The issue is available to read at no charge for a limited time at http://jgpn.sagepub.com.

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    The Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology brings together original research, clinical reviews, and timely case reports on all aspects of neuropsychiatric care of aging patients, including age-related biologic, neurologic, and psychiatric illnesses; psychosocial problems; forensic issues; and family care. The Journal is edited by Alan M. Mellow, MD, PhD, Ann Arbor VA Medical Center and has an Impact Factor of 1.627. http://jgpn.sagepub.com

    SAGE Publications is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. SAGE Publications, a privately owned corporation, has principal offices in Thousand Oaks, California, London, United Kingdom, and New Delhi, India. www.sagepublications.com


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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