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Posted September 12, 2003 on www.alz.org
New Early Treatment Overview Clinical Review Article on Treatment of Early Alzheimer's Disease
A new clinical overview of the treatment of early Alzheimer's disease was published in the Sept. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by Claudia H. Kawas, MD, a member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council and a professor of Neurobiology and Behavior and Neurology at the University of California at Irvine.
Her overview, intended to provide physicians with a clear, accessible summary of current practices, was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the University of California at Irvine.
"The diagnosis and management of memory loss are clinical challenges that require considerable time from busy health care providers," noted Kawas.
The article opens with a case vignette of a patient who has experienced mild but progressive memory loss as well as recent difficulty in balancing her checkbook and forgetting the location of her car. It discusses evidence supporting various approaches to the patient, a brief review of clinical guidelines where they exist, and Kawas's own clinical recommendations. A table outlines medications commonly prescribed to treat cognitive and behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, customary initial and recommended final doses, and common side effects.
Kawas cites as reliable sources of information for clinicians and families the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org or 800.272.3900) and the Alzheimer?s Disease Education and Referral Center (www.alzheimers.org or 800.438.4380), a resource provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Kawas also refers clinicians to the Alzheimer's Association on-line Resource Center for printable versions of such commonly used assessment instruments as the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Tool. To access those assessment tools, please click here.