All About Alzheimer's: Early Screening for Alzheimers

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Vermont Alzheimer's Association Executive Director, Martha Richardson, speaks with Dr. William Pendlebury and Jeanne Hutchins of the Center on Aging at the University of Vermont about this year’s UVM Med School Public Health project titled: Screening for Alzheimer’s Disease in Vermont Primary Care Practice. Dr. Pendlebury and Jeanne Hutchins of the UVM Center on Aging were the faculty mentors Martha Richardson serving as the Alzheimer’s Association community agency sponsor.

Some interesting findings brought forward through the project are as follows:

78% of PCPs believe that there are reasons why early detection of AD is not important; of those, 87% cite no effective treatment or cure as the main reason. Those 94% of PCPs who think that it can be important believe that the most important reason for early detection is to provide support and resources for the patient and family.
Focus group members felt that regardless of a cure, a diagnosis is essential in order to learn about and find ways to live happily with their disease, and stressed the importance of an early diagnosis in initiating support groups and family planning.
While the most common reason why physicians don’t always screen for AD is due to other medical issues that are more pressing, caregivers and patients believe that cognitive status should be addressed in every appointment because it’s an everyday struggle.

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