Dementia in the Oldest Old

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Abstract

Purpose of Review: This article discusses some of the unique features of dementia in the oldest old, including some of the most common diagnostic challenges, and potential strategies to overcome them.

Recent Findings: Advances include new insight into the role of common risk factors and the effects of multiple underlying neuropathologic features for dementia in the oldest old. In addition, this article contains the latest age-specific normative data for commonly used neuropsychological tests for the oldest old.

Summary: The oldest old—people aged 90 years and older—are the fastest-growing segment of society and have the highest rates of dementia in the population. The risk factors, diagnostic challenges, and underlying neuropathologic features of dementia are strikingly different in the 90-years-and-older population compared to younger elderly. Special consideration of these unique features of dementia is necessary when evaluating oldest-old subjects with cognitive impairment.

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