As the number of people with dementia rise rapidly and social awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of dementia has been successfully promoted in Taiwan, more and more people with memory or cognitive impairment rush into clinics for a diagnosis or reassurance. To make a diagnosis of dementia in the very early stage of degenerative cognitive disorders (DCD), however, is not easy. A friendly algorithm for dementia diagnosis is believed of help to physicians who are willing to be part of the holy team for dementia care.
Memory impairment is frequently seen in persons DCD. For example, episodic memory impairment is a characteristic feature for Alzheimer ‘s disease, while a breakdown of semantic memory is a hallmark for semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia, a subtype of frontotemporal dementia. On the other hand, difficulty in memory retrieval, a subcortical type of memory impairment, is common in persons with Parkinson disease or dementia due to cerebral small vessel diseases or multiple strokes. As aforementioned, a specific cognitive impairment may indicate a underlying neuroanatomical correlate. This is also applicable to the features of neuropsychological assessments, neuroimaging findings or biomarkers.
In this talk, I will introduce a system which can come up with a suggested diagnosis or two based on the features of clinical symptom/ signs, assessments, neuroimaging or biomarkers. These features are approved by clinical experts in dementia through roundtable discussions.