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Clionsky Neuro Systems (CNS-Neuro) Announces Publication of Study Finding Elderly Patients Unable to Recognize Their Memory Loss
Date:11/18/2011

ke the patient's blood pressure, calculate their body mass index, document all current illnesses and list all current medications to formulate a preventive health plan for the next year. Medicare had not instructed doctors how to identify cognitive problems, instead relying on their office observations and reports of patients and family members. But, the findings of this study suggest that such impressionistic data is misleading. Patients deny or overrate their thinking. They tell doctors that they remember all that they need to remember and they give excuses for their memory failures. If doctors take these reports at face value, they will fail to make a diagnosis of dementia in its early stages and will not start memory-stabilizing medications when they are the most likely to be beneficial. In an era when Alzheimer's disease and other dementias affect almost 6 million seniors and is increasing every year, this reliance on inaccurate data leads to a failure to diagnose and treat this important condition.

Dr. Mitchell Clionsky, the lead author and experienced neuropsychologist, reports that most of the patients he sees are referred to him fairly late in their illness. "By the time they are identified, they may have given away their savings, caused auto accidents, or become unable to live on their own," he notes. Dr. Emily Clionsky, a physician who specializes in treating dementia, knows that when patients with thinking problems are diagnosed earlier she may be able to improve their memory capacity by treating underlying or contributing medical causes. She also finds that starting memory medications earlier in the illness can alter the course and speed of cognitive decline. Earlier diagnosis may make the difference in how long a person can live in the community and when they may need assisted living or nursing home care. From a general medical perspective, knowing how well a person thinks helps the doctor to know if the patient can be trusted to take medicatio
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SOURCE Clionsky Neuro Systems
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