The number of patients with dementia is rising in proportion to the aging of our population; therefore, by 2050 the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is expected to triple, risking the integrity of the entire U.S. healthcare economy. More NIH dollars are spent on Alzheimer's disease research than on any other neurological disease and our available fund of information has commensurately accelerated. Whereas 30 years ago little distinction was made between different forms of dementia, clinicians now distinguish multiple degenerative and vascular syndromes, each with their own etiologic, therapeutic and prognostic implications. New genetic insights reach the popular press on a regular basis. Consequently Alzheimer's disease (and related disorders) has become a special concern to the majority of the population whose main avenue of care lies with the primary care physician. The primary care physician (general internist, family practitioner, nurse practitioner), geriatrician, and geriatric psychiatrist are the target audiences for this book; in short anyone who is not a neurological expert who provides dementia-related care.
As the primary care physician is the target audience for this title, the volume begins with a discusion of how to produce an effective diagnosis through a series of precise, easy- to- follow steps. Additional sections detail the current research state of each of the major individual dementia diseases that the general clinician frequently encounters. The last section procides a clinically focused 'how to' guide for treatment including symptom-directed pharmacotherapy, as well as an up-to-date summary of ongoing major therapeutic trials and an assessment non-pharmacological management issues such as driving and end-of- life considerations. Aiming to be clear, consice and practical, this volume provides the essential information in dementia related care, from disease diagnosis to symptom management. Because it uses the most up-to-date dementia research available, this volume will become a close companion of the primary care physician, who seeks direct answers to the common questions and issues that arise in the diagnosis and management of patients with dementia.