Initial evaluation of suspected dementia. Asking the right questions.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The initial clinical approach to suspected dementia involves asking the right questions of the patient and a knowledgeable family member or caregiver. These questions should focus on the nature of the cognitive problem (e.g., the onset, duration, and severity of memory difficulties). The clinical interview is supplemented with thorough examination of the patient's physical, neurologic, mental, and functional status. Once a diagnosis of dementia is established, the underlying cause should be identified by a standardized workup, including laboratory testing and, in most cases, neuroimaging. Genetic testing for the APOE epsilon 4 allele can help confirm the diagnosis in patients with late-onset familial or sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Steffens, DC; Morgenlander, JC

Published Date

  • October 15, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 106 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 72 - 83

PubMed ID

  • 10560469

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0032-5481

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3810/pgm.1999.10.15.745


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England