Publication set for later this year
The Alzheimer’s Association has released the first clinical practice guidelines for the evaluation of cognitive impairment suspected to be a result of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in both primary care and specialty care settings.
The guidelines include 20 consensus recommendations, including 16 “A” recommendations, indicating that they must be done and that, in almost all circumstances, adhering to the recommendation will improve outcomes.
The “A” recommendations emphasize the importance of obtaining a history from the patient and someone who knows the patient well to establish the presence and characteristics of any substantial changes to categorize the cognitive behavioral syndrome, investigate possible causes and contributing factors to arrive at a diagnosis/diagnoses, and appropriately educate, communicate findings and diagnosis, and ensure ongoing management, care, and support.
“These are the first US national guidelines aimed at multiple specialties. Most patients have 3 to 5 years of pretty serious symptoms before they are actually first evaluated, and that process can take over a year and a half, so hopefully these guidelines will improve that,” Alireza Atri, MD, PhD, co-chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Diagnostic Evaluation Clinical Practice Guideline workgroup, noted in a recent interview with Medscape Medical News.
The guidelines were previewed July 22 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018. They will be published in full later this year in a peer-reviewed journal, along with the detailed rationale behind them.