Toward a Sequential Strategy for Diagnosing Neurocognitive Disorders: A Consensus from the "Act On Dementia" European Joint Action - Nasjonalt senter for aldring og helse

Journal of Alzheimer´s Disease, 2019

Toward a Sequential Strategy for Diagnosing Neurocognitive Disorders: A Consensus from the “Act On Dementia” European Joint Action

Neurocognitive disorders causing progressive cognitive, functional, and behavioral impairment remain underdiagnosed. The needs for a timely diagnosis are now widely acknowledged since person-centered care helps to preserve life quality and prevent crises. One powerful barrier to detection in primary care is the lack of an easy-to-follow stepwise approach, grounded in evidence and consistent with high-quality specialty practice. To help fill this gap, the current European Joint Action proposes a graduated diagnosis strategy tailored to the patients’ needs and wills, clarifying appropriate components for primary and specialty care. This strategy considers a first evaluation in primary care that may detect a neurocognitive disorder, that would lead to a second evaluation step allowing etiological diagnosis hypotheses performed mostly by the specialist. A third evaluation stage considering some biological, electrophysiological, or neuroimaging complementary techniques would be proposed to atypical cases or patients willing to consider access to research.

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