Dementia Assessment Handout - Institute for Sustainable Health

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First found May 22, 2018

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COMPONENTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE DEMENTIA ASSESSMENT
A comprehensive medication review, a complete history and physical exam would take place to eliminate any medical causes (such as UTI)
Tests
Mini-Cog
Description
Patient is asked to remember three unrelated words. Then patient is
asked to draw the face of a clock. After the numbers are on the face, the
patient is asked to draw hands to read 10 minutes after 11:00. Then
patient is asked to repeat the first three words.
Rationale
Other brief tests such as the Mini Mental Status Exam may be used for
screening.
Short assessment for cognitive impairment scored
as follows: 3 recalled words = no cognitive
impairment; 1-2 recalled words and normal clock
drawing = negative for cognitive impairment; 1-2
recalled words and abnormal clock drawing =
positive for cognitive impairment; 0 recalled words =
positive for cognitive impairment
Vitamin B12
Blood test
Rule out confusion related to vitamin B12 deficiency
Folate level
Blood test
Rule out folate deficiency which can cause
depression and behavioral disorders
Thyroid Stimulating
Hormone (TSH)
Blood test
Rule out hypo or hyperactive thyroid
Rapid Plasma Reagin
(RPR)
Blood test
Rule out neurosyphilis
Complete Blood Count
Blood test including white blood cell count, white blood count differential,
red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, reticulocyte count, platelet
count
Screen for a wide variety of conditions and
diseases; rule out any conditions that might be
causing confusion
Comprehensive Metabolic Blood test which measures glucose level, electrolyte and fluid balance,
Panel
kidney function and liver function
Rule out diabetes and other metabolic disorders
Computerized
Tomography (CT) of
Head without Contrast
Uses many x-rays to create pictures of the head including the brain
Evaluate possible causes of changes in thinking or
behavior such as brain infection, tumor, fluid buildup, injury to the brain, stroke or bleeding in the brain
Geriatric Depression
Scale (GDS)
Use five questions to screen. If score is two or more, give remaining 10
questions.
Score greater than 5 is indicative of depression.
People with Alzheimer's disease are prone to
depression. Symptoms of severe depression can be
mistaken for symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.
Neuropsychological
testing
Could include: Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog) which
focuses on attention, language, orientation, executive functioning and
memory skills; Neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI) which accesses several
neuropsychiatric problems seen in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) including
agitation, anxiety, apathy, delusions, hallucinations, eating difficulties,
mood problems; Short Blessed Test which evaluates orientation,
registration and attention; an IQ estimate, and other tests of memory,
language and visuospatial skills. The primary caregiver may also provide
information about the patient's functioning.
Used to differentiate the patient with AD from
person with normal brain functioning and to evaluate
the extent of the disease and type of dementia
(Lewy Body, vascular, frontotemporal, Alzheimer’s,
etc.)
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