eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 13
Review article

Diagnosing cognitive function disorders in elderly patients in general practice

Agnieszka Gostyńska
Barbara Ostrowska

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2018; 13, 3: 114–119
Online publish date: 2019/01/29
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In this paper the authors carry out a demographic analysis of the Polish society and the projected share of elderly people in the general practitioners’ patient population. Demographic data from Statistics Poland (GUS) and Eurostat suggest that with the increasing life expectancy, the risk of developing diseases typical for old age, including neurocognitive disorders, increases. The authors distinguish between neurocognitive disorders related to the disease process, age, and physiological aging. Then they systematise and define various manifestations of cognitive impairment, from age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) and a subjective sense of memory impairment (SMI), and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), to neurocognitive disorders in neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, the authors discuss the coexistence of cognitive disorders with mood disorders and introduce a distinction between them. They mention the patients’ complaints and typical mistakes made by patients who suffer from the discussed conditions. In the final part of the work, the authors discuss the possibilities and indications for screening of cognitive functions within the primary care setting. The discussed neuropsychological tools include the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE-III), the Clock Drawing Test (CDT), the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG), and Mini-Cog. In the conclusions, the authors state that in the light of the existing data and demographic forecasts it is worth emphasising the importance of screening diagnostics of cognitive functions in elderly patients.

neurocognitive disorders, general practice

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