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Drexel University College of Medicine Research May Lead to Improved Alzheimer’s/Vascular Dementia Diagnostic Guidelines
Date:8/6/2014

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 06, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are the most common forms of dementia. Traditionally, these illnesses have been treated as separate clinical syndromes. But new research led by Drexel University College of Medicine suggests that AD and VaD have much more in common than diagnostic guidelines currently allow. The study is set for publication in the September edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study analyzed 223 patients with dementia, who were seen at an outpatient memory clinic and diagnosed with AD or VaD. Participants were evaluated by a team of dementia specialists and underwent neuropsychological testing, appropriate brain scans, and necessary blood tests.

What the researchers found is that dementia patients thought to be suffering from either AD or VaD could be sorted into distinct, very nuanced clinical profiles. Using latent class analysis, the researchers were able to identify four distinct groups:

  •     Moderate/ mixed dementia group;
  •     Mild/ mixed dementia group;
  •     Dysexecutive group with significant impairment in multi-tasking;
  •     Amnestic group with profound memory loss.
Follow-up analyses comparing these four groups on neuropsychological measures that delved deeper into the process and errors produced on neuropsychological tests showed that the dysexecutive group exhibited marked difficulty sustaining attention and concentration. The moderate/ mixed group evidenced pronounced and greater impairment on language-related tests compared to other neuropsychological abilities. Amnestic patients wer
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