Bisher AKIL, MD

Can we predict dementia?

In General Health on May 14, 2009 at 7:44 pm

The goal is too develop a late-life dementia risk index that can accurately stratify older adults into those with a low, moderate, or high risk of developing dementia within 6 year. The authors of this paper developed a 15-point risk index can identify older adults at low, intermediate, and high risk for dementia. Researchers studied nearly 3375 adults aged 65 or older,without evidence of dementia at baseline. We used logistic regression to identify those factors most predictive of developing incident dementia within 6 years and developed a point system based on the logistic regression coefficients.14% of whom developed dementia over 6 years’ follow-up. The researchers then identified independent predictors of dementia — including older age, poor cognitive test scores, history of coronary bypass, slow physical performance, and lack of alcohol consumption — and incorporated them into a risk prediction tool. Each factor was assigned 1 to 2 points, for a maximum score of 15. The tool accurately predicted which participants were likely to develop dementia. For example, dementia developed in 56% of subjects with high risk scores but only 4% of those with low scores. The authors say their prediction tool “could be used clinically to identify older adults who do not currently have overt dementia symptoms but who should be monitored more closely for signs of cognitive impairment.”. Published  online before print on May 13, 2009 (Neurology 2009)

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