Alzheimer's Detected Too Late

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The Atlanta Constitution Journal has a nice piece today about the poor state of Alzheimer's detection. While we refer to this reality quite frequently in this blog, it is worth reading the article because they do a good job describing the magnitude of the problem and they frame a possible solution.

The focus of the article is on the lack of screening in physician offices. While I agree that a general screening approach to the aging population could be a factor in solving this problem, I don't think it is necessarily the only approach and probably not the most efficient approach. I would suggest a "case-finding" mentality where physicians are well-educated about what questions to ask and which signs to watch and where they have viable assessment tools to help them further evaluate patients likely to have an emerging problem.

The article describes several reasons that such screening is not more common including lack of physician education, lack of screening standards, and lack of time for screening in an office visit. On slow news days going forward (if there are any), I will revisit this post and give my thoughts on each of those barriers.

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