Posts Tagged ‘cognitive testing’

Dr. Monica Crane – Discusses Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Monica Crane, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Cole Neuroscience Center discusses Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms and treatment options in a short video produce by UT Medical Center.

 

 

  • News
  • November 5th, 2010

Medicare’s New Annual Wellness Visit Promotes Cognitive Screening

In what is both breaking and outstanding news for the future of Alzheimer’s disease, Medicare has announced that, beginning January 1, 2011, all beneficiaries must be screened for cognitive impairment as part of their annual wellness visit, another component that will now be mandatory for Medicare beneficiaries.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final regulations for implementation of an important provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will include for the first time an annual wellness benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning January 2011. This Medicare preventive service benefit is significant for the growing number of baby boomers who will soon be reaching the age of Medicare eligibility. It is also particularly important to the Alzheimer’s Association and the more than 5 million Americans it represents because an assessment for the detection of cognitive impairment will be a mandatory part of this annual wellness visit.

Medinteract has long been an advocate for the critical need for regular and early warning screening for Alzheimer’s and dementia. In July, 2010 Medicare began reimbursing physicians for using the Computerized Self Test for cognitive impairment screening in their offices, for those patients presenting with memory concerns. As part of the new regulation it appears that Medicare will not only reimburse for screening of each beneficiary annually, but will require this (or similar) test be performed by their physician.

The Computerized Self Test (CST), a groundbreaking online screen for Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), is one of the only tests available today which screens all six of the cognitive domains, something we now know to be critical for understanding ones level of cognition. With over 98% accuracy (clinical trials to date) the CST distinguishes between impaired and non-impaired persons. The CST also provides a level of cognitive detail the primary care physicians (PCP) have not had available from other tests. Using the CST’s computer-generated results, the PCP can now assess exactly which cognitive domain(s) show impairment, as well as severity of the impairment. Patients can be quickly and accurately categorized according to one of 5 groups: normal, MCI, mild, moderate or severe AD.

Armed with this level of detail the PCP can offer an individualized plan of care to each patient, based on their unique level of cognitive function, and upon retest, can accurately assess the efficacy of the existing treatment and adjust interventions, as necessary. This is a tremendous step forward in changing the face of Alzheimer’s disease, a move Medinteract hopes will radically reduce the estimated 60% of persons with Alzheimer’s who are currently going undiagnosed in the primary care setting, during a pivotal time when existing treatments are most effective.

For more information on the CST, please read our validation study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April, 2010. For questions or information on integrating the CST into your medical practice please contact us.

Dementia Screening Cuts Health Costs

Today, Bloomberg Businessweek published a study documenting the decrease in the cost of care when dementia is diagnosed early. Cost savings is a great thing. But bigger than that is the increased quality of life and potential delay of disease progression for early and proper diagnosis. The earlier we diagnose a disease like Alzheimer’s, the more effective the treatments are at staving off the onset of additional symptoms or worsening of those existing. Read More

  • Blog
  • April 20th, 2010

Finding Peace of Mind Through Early Screening

A few days ago we received a very nice testimonial on our Facebook page and it made me realize that what we offer is truly two-fold.  Here is the message we received:

I took the self test today, and the results were excellent in all areas. With a family history of Alzheimer’s, having access to a quick, easy, affordable tool to catch problems early, gives me great peace of mind. Now I’ll chalk up my memory problems to overwork, rather than to early ALZ.

We offer the ALZselftest as a way to help people discover early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and get diagnosed early, when treatment options are most effective. But on the other side are the millions of baby boomers who have begun to worry that their memory lapses are something far more serious than mere absent-mindedness or paying insufficient attention. For these folks, like our commenter above, the ALZselftest offers a quick, highly accurate way to find “peace of mind”. The less time you spend fretting about the occasional lost set of keys, the more clear your mind will be, and the better you’ll feel each day.

Do not fear the outcome! Knowledge is power, and for the first time you are empowered with the tools to screen your mind and learn crucial information about your cognitive function. Besides, think how relieved you will be when you find out that you forget the same things the rest of us do, and are suffering no serious deficits within any of your cognitive domains! Don’t delay, screen your brain today.

  • News
  • March 19th, 2010

New Online Test May Help Detect Alzheimer’s Sooner

From WATE News in Knoxville, TN.  Get the whole story here.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new online test developed in Knoxville may help with earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the latest studies show up to 60 percent go undiagnosed until it’s too late to do much about it.

It’s a progressive and fatal disease of the brain that destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.

The simple, interactive test is posted on the Web sitealzselftest.com. It only takes 10 minutes and costs just under $20.

Your answers reveal important information about your mental functions.

The test is a sort of fitness test for the brain. It starts with questions like what year is it? What month? What week?

Then the questions progress to dig deeper into what’s going on in your brain.

At UT Medical Center’s Cole Neuroscience Center, researcher Rex Cannon, with UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty with the, UT Graduate School of Medicine, developed the test to get more people diagnosed in time to make a difference in their quality of life.

“It’s so important, if not critical, for people to come early for evaluation. That’s why we’ve been so interested in developing this test that people can access online. Or if they’re not computer literate a loved one, family member, can help them with the computer interface,” Dr. Dougherty says.

“Nobody is really afraid of the test and I think that’s important they don’t feel alienated, kind of comfortable taking it. It speaks to the patient with verbal instructions so that’s important,” Cannon says.

After you take the test, if you show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, you can take the results to your doctor.

Alzheimer’s ABC’s: Cognitive Changes (Depression and AD)

Depression and Alzheimer’s
In the first three posts (1, 2, 3) of this series we explored how to identify and understand many symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as how to use them to build a historical timeline.  These posts provide a good foundation for moving forward in our basic understanding of AD.

In this post we move into the topic of cognitive changes associated with early AD, and include an exercise you can try with your loved ones at home. Read More

Alzheimer's ABC's: Understanding Early Warning Signs

In the last post we began to take a closer look at some of the more widely known symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as to explore the differences between normal aging and cognitive impairment within those symptoms.  In this post I am going to provide you a list of areas in your day-to-day life where symptoms of AD appear, to help you better distinguish normal aging from the signs of something more serious. Read More

Driving and Alzheimer's Disease

The caregivers of my patients frequently ask me about the safety of their loved ones getting behind the wheel after receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This is a sensitive topic for patients, but a very important one in terms of both safety and liability, as I will discuss here.

First, my own research has recently revealed that driving in moderate and late stage AD is a much larger problem than we first feared, and this is not attributable merely to aging. In fact, we have seen that 16 year old males have a higher incidence of accidents than healthy non-demented individuals over the age of 75. However, in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the early stages of AD, we do not see increased accident rates. But as early AD progresses into moderate AD accident rates rise sharply. Read More

Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, has become better understood in recent years. It is broadly considered to be a transitional stage between normal, age-related cognitive changes and dementia. We have learned some key things about individuals with MCI that are very important to understand for long term quality of life. Believe it or not, if you have received a diagnosis of MCI, this is actually very good news. It means that you are one of the few people who have been brave enough to get yourself tested for memory concerns. And because of this, you have learned at the earliest possible stage of some potential future problems. It’s great news because at this stage we have a lot of options for treating you and others like you.

As a physician, I can tell you that almost 8% of people diagnosed with MCI convert to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) within 1 year. However, 20% of people diagnosed with MCI revert to normal memory within 1 year. So a diagnosis of MCI is not a cause for panic so much as it is a call to action. Read More