Seniors with Memory Loss: A Primer Praveen Dayalu,
Seniors with Memory Loss: A Primer Praveen Dayalu, MD Clinical Associate Professor Department of Neurology University of Michigan Cognitive domains Executive function (frontal, hemispheric white matter) Memory (medial temporal lobes/ hippocampus) Language (left hemisphere, usually)
Visuospatial (occipital, parietal) Cerebral hemisphere and lobes What Is Dementia? Impairment in intellectual function affecting more than one cognitive domains Interferes with social or occupational function Decline from a previous level Not explained by delirium or major psychiatric disease 4
Mild Cognitive Impairment Cognitive decline abnormal for age and education but does not interfere with function and activities At risk state to develop a degenerative dementia When memory loss predominates, termed Amnestic MCI. This has ~15% per year of conversion to AD. 5 Trauma, tumor, MS, HIV, syphilis,
NPH, subdurals, vasculitis, CJD Hepatic, renal, or thyroid disease Deficiency (B12) Toxins, OSA Cognitive decline Depression Other psych
Alone, or With dementia Delirium Drug induced Many causes! Alcohol Recreational Prescriptions !
Dementias (big four) Alzheimer Vascular Lewy body / PD Frontotemporal Primary dementias: the big ones AD= Alzheimers LBD= Lewy Body dementia PD= Parkinson disease
dementia FTD= Frontotemporal dementia Vascular Alzheimer Disease (AD) Commonest neurodegenerative and dementing disease Prevalence doubles every 5 years after 65; ~50% of those older than 85 8
AD Risk Factors Age!! Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) ApoE-e4 positivity Family hx in first degree relative (especially if younger onset) Vascular risk (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) Low education and physical/social activity
Female sex 9 Mild-moderate AD Severe AD 10 AD Clinical Features Earliest cognitive symptoms are usually poor short term memory; loss of orientation Smooth, usually slow decline without
dramatic short-term fluctuations Other domains involved with time So common that many variations are seen 11 AD: Behavioral & Psych
Similar to Parkinson disease dementia -synuclein aggregates into Lewy bodies Concurrent AD pathology is common 13 DLB Clinical Features Dementia (early on, visuospatial and executive) PLUS Core features Parkinsonism Recurrent early visual hallucinations Fluctuations (clue: recurrent delirium evaluations)
Suggestive features include REM sleep disorder (dream enactment) & neuroleptic sensitivity 14 Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) Average age of onset 58, rather than very old Often familial (30-50%) Overlap with progressive supranuclear palsy, ALS, and corticobasal degeneration Pathologic aggregates of tau or TDP-43 15
FTD clinical features Behavior and personality change (may be initially misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder) Executive dysfunction Progressive non-fluent aphasia May see parkinsonism or muscle weakness 16 Vascular Dementia Suspect when
Abrupt onset and/or stepwise decline Fluctuating course H/o stroke Focal neurologic symptoms or signs Usually see bilateral infarcts Often associated with executive dysfunction, gait disorder, apathy, incontinence 17
...evidence of chronic small vessel ischemic disease involving subcortical white matter This is nondiagnostic and very common with age Changes may or may not be symptomatic Vascular dementia Dont tell patients Your scan showed strokes. Trauma, tumor, MS, HIV, syphilis, NPH, subdurals,
vasculitis, CJD Hepatic, renal, or thyroid disease Deficiency (B12) Toxins, OSA Cognitive decline Depression Other psych Alone, or
With dementia Delirium Drug induced Many causes! Alcohol Recreational Prescriptions ! Dementias
(big four) Alzheimer Vascular Lewy body / PD Frontotemporal The HPI is critical ! Ask a close informant Duration, rate, smoothness? Associated symptoms (headache, trouble with vision, speech, strength, coordination, gait) What domains are affected?
Repeats self? Forgets recent things? Appointments? Month & year? Trouble with appliances? Trouble planning? Change in personality, judgment, behavior? Navigation problems? Hallucinations? Word finding problems? How is function affected? Finances, chores, hobbies, driving, occupation, social Fill out the picture
Medical problems and risk factors? Neurologic history (stroke, trauma, infection)? Educational background? Family history? Alcohol and drugs? Medications? Remember, your first goal is to exclude readily treatable causes
Untreated sleep apnea Depression or anxiety Alcoholism Meds: Benzos, opioids, anticholinergics (diphenhydramine, bladder drugs, tricyclics), neuroleptics, dopaminergics, other sedatives Examination General neurologic exam Any focalities that suggest stroke? Signs of parkinsonism or a gait disorder? Cognitive screen Mini-mental (MMSE)
Mini-cog Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) Holsinger et al JAMA. 2007;297(21):2391-2404 Diagnostic testing There is no dementia test panel For slowly progressive typical dementia in adults >65, most essential tests: B12, TSH, brain image (CT is ok) Neuropsychology testing can help but not mandatory FDG- PET approved to differentiate AD from FTD Amyloid-PET has just been approved PET studies have little value in most cases and are expensive
For younger patients, or rapid or atypical course, workup may be tiered to target range of diagnoses, emphasizing treatable causes 25 Why properly diagnose? There may be a readily treatable cause Some degenerative dementias do have symptomatic pharmacotherapies Patients and families want to know and understand what they are dealing with Helps long-term planning Facilitates research efforts Facilitates advocacy/ support group participation
Drug treatment? No current treatment slows down neuronal loss in the brain Cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine)? - Modest symptom improvement in AD - Sometimes marked improvements in PDD/ DLB Memantine? Modest benefit in AD
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