Site updated at Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Living with Dementia


A Guide to the Diagnosis and Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease


The characteristic clinical feature of dementia is the presence of cognitive decline sufficient to cause functional impairment. Criteria for dementia are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM IV). When dementia has been confirmed, the differential diagnosis can begin. The onset of progressive… A Guide to the Diagnosis and Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease   

Differential diagnosis of dementia

Aging and cognitive decline

There is a natural age-associated modification in cognition. As a consequence, it can be problematic distinguishing between cognitive impairment associated with normal aging and early dementia. In addition, ‘mild cognitive impairment’ (MCI) can be experienced. This is characterized by an abnormal level of cognitive impairment, albeit that it does not… Differential diagnosis of dementia   

Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors

Age is a risk factor for AD. The prevalence of AD doubles every five years after the age of 60.

Family history

A family history of AD is a consistent risk factor, and represents around a fourfold increase in the risk of developing the disease. It is thought that as many as… Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors   

Diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease

A number of criteria-based approaches to the diagnosis of AD have been developed. The three most commonly used are:

  * International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10)
  * Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM IV)
  * National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke… Diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease   


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