Dementia Overview – Allison-McNutt


Gradual increase in incidence as you age

50% change after age 85

Annual screening over age 70 (AAN recommendation)

60% of dementia is Alzheimers

Lewy Body Dementia (psychiatric/visual hallucinations with Parkinson’s symptoms) is as prevalent as vascular dementia 

5% Parkinson’s

< 5% frontotemporal dementia

Dementia is generally progressive and acquired; increased risk when patients notice symptoms themselves


R/o delirium, psychiatric diagnosis

Labs: TSH, RPR, B12, folate, CBC, CMP, other neurologic conditions

Assess for neglect and abuse

*Functional assessment (cooking, cleaning, finances)

*MMSE or SLUMS (if abnormality in this or functional, reassess every 6 months)

If both abnormal functional assessment and MMSE, greatly increased risk and can get neuroimaging at that time (non-con CT if just Alzheimers considered, MRI otherwise) PET scan negative is prognostically reassuring for 3 years for Alzheimers progression, but ridiculously expensive


– Community Resources: Area Agency on Aging (

– Books: “The 36 hour day” (; “Can’t we talk about something more pleasant” (

– Routine assessments: skin and diet; driving OT in GJ (Jill Wohlgemuth) “Shift to Independence”

– Meds: Donepezil; can combo with donepezil + momantine (only for mild-moderate as nothing for severe); Lewy Body (dopamine agonists + antipsychotics (clozapine) + donepezil); Vascular (reduce risk with DM and HTN); Fronto-temporal (nothing)


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