The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 35 No. 1 - Dementia Update 2009

Overview of Dementia

Kandiah Nagaendran
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 35 No 1 - Dementia Update 2009
62 - 64
1 January 2009
Dementia represents a late stage of disease along the continuum of cognitive impairment. with the prevalence of cognitive dysfunction rapidly rising, there is an urgent need for early diagnosis and intervention. A thorough history, cognitive evaluation along with suitable investigational studies is necessary for early diagnosis. The ability to diagnose dementia at the earliest stages has been greatly improved with the use of biomarkers such as medial temporal atrophy on MR imaging and cerebrospinal fluid beta amyloid levels. The management of dementia requires a multidisciplinary approach. While acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors can slow cognitive deterioration, newer disease modifying drugs which target the underlying pathology are at advanced levels of testing.