Current Screening Methods Miss Worrisome Number of Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment
“False-negatives” mean persons at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease may not get timely care
Patients can be diagnosed with what is known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is a slight yet noticeable decline in his or her cognitive abilities, such as remembering names or items on a list. Most of these changes may not be severe enough to disrupt his or her daily life. However, if a diagnosis of MCI occurs, the patient is then at an increased risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Currently, the screening tools that exist for MCI result in a false-negative error rate of more than seven percent. This means that seven percent of patients who do have MCI are misclassified unless more extensive testing is conducted. “There are consequences to misdiagnosis,” said first author Emily C. Edmonds, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow of neuropyschology in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “At the individual level, people incorrectly identified as cognitively normal might not receive appropriate medical advice or treatment. This could include preventive measures, such as diet or lifestyle changes to maintain cognitive function, or referral to other health care providers.” To read more, click here.
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