Annual Testing for Dementia May Prevent Decline

A new U.S health law was passed that includes yearly check-ups to assess cognitive impairment, thinking capabilities and memory to be covered under Medicare. All of these measurable changes are all signs that may predict a person’s risk for dementia.

While dementia, a group of symptoms that impairs memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavio—ultimately a person’s daily life, offers no cure, it can be said that early screening may be valuable for the condition. Particularly in older patients, the benefits of routine testing outweigh any possible harms. Once the risk is identified or condition diagnosed, patients can be helped with family support, medication management and brain games to help delay further declines.
Identifying the problem at a milder level of impairment—and enacting a care regimen—may stave off a crisis that can disrupt patients’ lives, prevent them from putting their affairs in order and levy extreme burdens on caregivers.

April 3, 2013