The Contribution of Supplementary Tests in the Differential Diagnosis of Dementia

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Supplementary tests are part of the clinical approach to diagnose cognitive impairment. We aimed to determine the role of supplementary examinations, except for biomarkers, on diagnostic stability of dementia over time and to identify reversible dementias.


We identified 432 patients with dementia who performed 2 clinical evaluations and the supplementary examinations recommended by the American Academy of Neurology in a follow-up period of 1 year.


In this sample, 110 (24.5%) patients changed their diagnosis at 1-year follow-up for the appearance of vascular cognitive impairment than the initial diagnosis, due to the neuroimaging. Concerning the reversible dementias, depression was the major differential diagnosis, detected in 13 (81%) of the 16 patients with cognitive improvement.


Therefore, regarding the supplementary examinations only neuroimaging and the depression triage were relevant for clinical practice regarding the differential diagnosis of dementia.

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