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A Phase III Alzheimer's Drug Increases Levels of Beta Amyloid in the Brain - But Still Provides Benefits
Date:7/14/2009

n problem is memory. However, not everyone diagnosed with MCI goes on to develop Alzheimer's. There is currently no treatment for MCI approved by the FDA. Numerous clinical trials are investigating treatments to delay or prevent Alzheimer's in MCI populations.

Scott Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health; Jason Karlawish, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics with tenure, Senior Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Associate Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania; and colleagues sought to assess how neurologists are diagnosing and treating patients with mild cognitive symptoms and how they view MCI as a clinical diagnosis. They surveyed members of the AmericanAcademy of Neurology (AAN) who had indicated a clinical practice focus on aging/dementia or behavioral neurology in a recent AAN Member Census using mail, fax and the Internet.

420 clinicians (response rate=48%) completed the survey. 88% reported at least monthly encounters with patients experiencing mild cognitive symptoms. Most respondents recognize MCI as a clinical diagnosis (90%) and use its diagnostic code for billing purposes (70%). When seeing this population, most respondents report routinely making recommendations for monitoring and follow-up (88%), counseling patients on physical (78%) and mental exercise (75%), and communicating about risk of dementia (63%).

Most respondents (70%) prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors at least sometimes for this population, with memantine (39%) and "other" agents (e.g., vitamin E, gingko) prescribed less frequently. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's. Relatively few respondents routinely provide information on support services (27%) or a wr
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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