Tuesday, 19 August 2003: 15:45-17:15
Huron Room (Sheraton Hotel and Towers)

S044 Developing Approaches to Alzheimer Screening

Information about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has advanced considerably and medications for treating affected patients are available. Quality of life, economics, and disease progression are positively affected by current treatments suggesting that effective screening of at risk individuals is needed in order to begin therapy early in the disease process. Now, what are approaches for recognizing the earliest indications of disease? Of many tests studied for sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing AD patients from normal aging, the Mini-Mental State Exam is the most widely used. However, this exam is too long for practical application in primary care and is an inadequate tool for recognizing early dementia in a clinical setting. This symposium will present several approaches to screen patients for AD that be considered for general use. Clinician scientists who have worked on developing such tools will present the bases for considering the exams that they have studied. The tests to be presented range from simple questions to computerized assessments. The intended result of this symposium is a clarification of the issues to prepare the way for widespread recommendations for AD screening. AD screening tests are available and should be recommended, but tests must be continually studied, reevaluated, and improved. After participating in this symposium clinicians specializing in the care of the elderly will have a better idea about how to approach brief diagnostic screen on an elderly patient. Researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease will have a clearer conceptualization of the issues involved in dementia screening and understand how to develop more effective screening tools.
Chairs:J. Wesson Ashford
Frederick A. Schmitt
 S044-001 BLT/Ashford Memory Test On-line Version
J. Wesson Ashford
 S044-002 Mini-Cog
Soo Borson

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