Feb 24, 2012

Redefining Dementia

"New guidelines expand the definition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to include nearly all people who would have previously been diagnosed with very mild or mild Alzheimer's dementia. It can delay treatment for patients, since medications that can slow progression of the disease require a diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia first." Time Magazine February 20 page 15.

Something to keep our eye on.  If obtaining a definitive diagnosis for dementia has not been difficult enough, this may very well muddy the waters even further.  99.8% of patients diagnosed with very mild Alzheimer's would be reclassified as having mild cognitive impairment under new guidelines adopted in 2011.  In our case, it took several trips to physicians, to include two neurologists, before we obtained the definitive diagnosis of Lewy Bodies Dementia at Mayo Clinic.  A very frustrating ordeal, and one in which Dwane's treatment and the answers to my questions were delayed.  This will bear watching.  We do not want treatment that can slow the progression of dementia to be delayed.

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