National Patterns of Dementia Treatment

National Patterns of Dementia Treatment

INTRODUCTION

Dementia is a neuropsychiatric disorder marked by irreparable deterioration of brain tissue that leads to widespread memory loss, reduction in cognitive abilities and functional decline. This debilitating condition is more prevalent among women and African Americans, and approximately 60% of all dementia cases are associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dementia has an estimated prevalence of 6-10% among the elderly population in the United States. Since a diagnosis of AD is largely by exclusion, favorable patient outcomes are contingent upon early detection.

Several studies have reported higher rates of dementia among nonwhite persons. According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association, African Americans have a 14-100% increased age-specific prevalence of dementia compared to other races, and underreporting and late-stage diagnoses seem to be also common for African Americans. The apparent disproportions in the dementia rates have been partially attributed to the increased rate of stroke and hypertension in this subpopulation of the elderly, ¬†potentially due to the fact that stroke is one of the known predictors of vascular dementia.¬†generic flomax

Cholinesterase inhibitors as cognitive-enhancing agents can significantly delay progression to cognitive decline. Several studies have already demonstrated their efficacy and benefit in stabilizing symptoms related to cognitive impairment. However, there is a paucity of information regarding prescription using a national database. Therefore, this study was designed to describe national treatment patterns of dementia/AD and to identify factors associated with the prescription of cholinesterase inhibitor among the U.S. elderly ambulatory care population.
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