Effect of neurological screening on early dementia detection in southern Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Population screening can facilitate early diagnosis of dementia and improve disease management. This study examined the effects of a screening campaign for neurodegenerative disorders on the early diagnosis of dementia using 2-year follow-up data. Methods: A 5-day screening campaign was conducted that comprised neurological, neuropsychological and other specialist examinations. Identification of alterations during the neurological examination was followed-up by further diagnostic examinations to confirm the neurological impairment. Results: Neurological alterations were observed in 39% of the screened subjects, who were mostly diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and referred to a dementia and cognitive disorders centre. Suspicion of neurological impairment was a risk factor for inclusion in a specific neurological ambulatory follow-up and a condition for exemption from payment for medical examinations. Conclusions: Neurodegenerative screening initiatives should include subjects selected by general practitioners. It would be useful to create a network including primary care physicians and cognitive disorder centres. Telemedicine tools (e.g., teleconsulting) could also be used to facilitate early diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • dementia
  • general practitioner
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • neuroepidemiology
  • prevention
  • public health
  • Screening campaign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical

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