News Release 

Assessing risk of future dementia in primary care with a stepwise approach

Associations of subjective memory complaints and simple memory task scores with future dementia in a primary care setting

American Academy of Family Physicians

Primary care physicians rely on a battery of instruments to assess the risk of dementia in older patients. Analysis of data from a longitudinal cluster-randomized controlled trial of 3,526 adults aged 70 to 78 showed that assessment of dementia risk using three common screening tools at baseline predicts incident dementia over the course of about seven years. A single screening question to assess subjective memory loss was associated with future dementia. Furthermore, participants who showed subjective memory loss, who then reached a threshold score on two cognitive function instruments--the Visual Association Test and the delayed recall item of the Mini-Mental State Examination (item 5)--showed rates of dementia up to 30% at follow-up. The authors recommend starting with the single question on subjective memory loss, followed by a brief assessment of cognitive delay from the MMSE-5 and then the VAT.


Associations of Subjective Memory Complaints and Simple Memory Task Scores With Future Dementia in a Primary Care Setting
Lennard L van Wanrooij, MSc, et al
Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department of Neurology, The Netherlands

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