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Understanding Dementia: A Physician Q&A

Our recent event, “New Direction in the Assessment and Management of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease” was a success with several hundred doctors attending the interactive online broadcast.

We compiled a Q&A section of questions from clinicians about the latest treatment and diagnostic options.

Dementia Treatment and Diagnostic Options

Overall, “eight to 10 million Americans suffer with mild cognitive impairment,” said Tarot. Clinicians need to look at a full spectrum of care that includes training for primary care providers as well as clinical and non-clinical treatment options.

Both Tarot and Sabbagh supported non-clinical options for their patients. “Social stimulation, aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, and the right kind of intellectual stimulation will probably help your noggin work better,” said Tarot. “Other experts say if you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s, mid-life lifestyle changes may have the potential to reduce risk by as much as 50 percent.”

Sabbagh added, “It can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and cognitive decline itself. We know people do better, but we don’t know how much better or for how long.”

Other topics discussed in this brief 13-minute video include:

  • The effectiveness of memantine for Alzheimer’s patients. Does this drug help patients? Are there other drugs that offer more benefits? When is it best to use this drug?
  • Developing specific training for primary care physicians to accurately identify dementia in patients. This discussion includes medical histories, tests, MRIs versus PET scans, and working with insurance companies to get clearance for certain treatments or therapies.
  • The effectiveness of alcohol/red wine. Drs. Sabbagh and Tarot discuss how many grams of alcohol per day is acceptable and if the resveratrol in red wine is effective with Alzheimer’s patients.

NeuroSeriesLive regularly schedules events on topics such as adult epilepsy, emotional lability, and multiple sclerosis. Check our current schedule for information on CMEs and upcoming interactive discussions on a wide range of topics.

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