Association Between Dementia Severity and Recommended Lifestyle Changes: A Retrospective Cohort Study

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Abstract

Objective:

Early diagnosis of dementia leads to early treatment which is beneficial to patients and the community. We reviewed initial evaluations from the Spectrum Health Medical Group Neurocognitive Clinic (SHMGNC) to evaluate dementia stage at the time of diagnosis.

Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed 110 randomly chosen initial evaluations from September 2008 to December 2015 at the SHMGNC. Patients underwent a neurological examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and a battery of neuropsychological testing.

Results:

Of all, 78.9% had moderate or severe dementia at diagnosis. The SHMGNC recommended lifestyle changes (medication assistance, financial assistance, driving restrictions, and institutional care) in 75.8% of patients with dementia. The severity of dementia was associated with the number of lifestyle changes recommended. Cohabitation with a caregiver did not lead to an early diagnosis of dementia.

Conclusions:

Patients are not undergoing evaluation at the onset of the dementia process. Diagnosis is delayed. Home-based, patient-centered care may improve early screening and detection of dementia.

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