Alzheimer's and Related Dementia Resources for Professionals
Get tools and training for your practice: Access free clinical practice tools, training materials and more resources for physicians, nurses, social workers and other professionals.
- Cognitive screening tests
- Tools for assessment, diagnosis, and management
- Professional training and curricula
- Patient care
- Clinical trials and studies
- Patient and caregiver education
Cognitive screening tests
Screening tools are designed to detect early cognitive changes and are an important first step in assessing cognitive impairment. If tests indicate possible impairment, then further evaluations are warranted. The following are examples of cognitive screening tests that are available to the public.
NIA does not endorse specific screening tools. The selection of screening tool depends on a variety of factors, including the setting, target population age and demographics, language, expertise of the administrator, etc. Research is currently underway to create and validate new tools for cognitive screening in primary care settings.
Mini-Cog (PDF, 86K)
The Mini-Cog is a three-minute instrument that consists of two components: a three-item recall test for memory and a clock drawing test. It is designed as a patient screening tool and is available in many languages.
Short Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (PDF, 1.9M)
The IQCODE asks informants, such as spouses, relatives or another person close to the patient, about changes in cognition and function in 16 areas.
AD8 Dementia Screening Interview
This screening test is designed as an informant screening tool, but may be administered to the patient. It consists of eight questions about changes in the person’s thinking, memory and behavior. This screening tool is available in English and Spanish.
Quick Dementia Rating System (PDF, 239KB)
The QDRS is designed as an informant screening tool, but may be administered to the patient. Respondents are asked to rate change in the patient in 10 categories that cover cognitive and functional abilities.
Tools and guidelines for assessment, diagnosis, and management
This comprehensive set of measurements to quickly assess cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor functions can be used on an iPad.
UCSF Brain Health Assessment
This 10-minute assessment, developed by researchers at the University of California San Francisco, evaluates memory, executive/speed, visuospatial and language skills. An optional three-minute informant survey is also available to provide information about functional impairment and behavioral changes.
ACT on Alzheimer’s Provider Practice Tools
Decision support tools for screening, diagnosis and disease management, developed by a Minnesota group of health, government and nonprofit organizations.
Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnostic Guidelines
Get detailed information about the National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Association Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Older Patients
Get practical information and tips for assessing patients with memory loss or other signs of cognitive impairment.
Assessment of Cognitive Complaints Toolkit for Alzheimer’s Disease
Developed by the California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, a statewide network of 10 dementia care Centers of Excellence, this toolkit provides primary care providers with the tools necessary to recognize normal cognition, diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and identify other cognitive problems requiring specialty referral.
CMS Cognitive Assessment & Care Plan Services
This webpage by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides information on cognitive assessment and care plan services (code 99483), including what it covers and how to bill for it. CMS also created a related educational video for health care providers.
Cognitive Impairment Care Planning Toolkit
This toolkit from the Alzheimer’s Association provides recommendations and tools for using the 99483 Medicare code for cognitive assessment and care planning for patients with cognitive impairment.
Diagnosing Lewy Body Dementia
Review symptoms and guidelines for distinguishing Lewy body dementia from other dementias.
Diagnosing Frontotemporal Disorders
Get information about diagnosing frontotemporal dementia and related disorders.
DIAMOND-Lewy Assessment and Management Toolkits
Funded by the U.K.’s National Institute for Health Research, these toolkits are designed to improve the diagnosis and management of Lewy body dementia.
Guide to Billing Codes for Dementia Services (MS Word, 1.6M)
Download this guide from the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center provides billing codes and guidance to bill third-party payers, such as fee-for-service Medicare and private insurance, for dementia care services.
KAER Toolkit: 4-Step Process to Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Earlier Diagnosis of Dementia (PDF, 6.9M)
This toolkit is focused on the KAER model developed by the Gerontological Society of America Workgroup on Cognitive Impairment Detection and Earlier Diagnosis and offers tools and resources to implement the four steps in the KAER model.
Managing Older Patients with Cognitive Impairment
Use this quick guide to develop care strategies, discuss clinical trials and make medical and family support plans for older adults with cognitive impairment.
Medical Care of Adults With Down Syndrome: A Clinical Guideline
Find recommendations on assessment and diagnosis of dementia in adults with Down syndrome.
Next Steps After a Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
Use this handout to refer patients to a wealth of information and resources about health care, safety and more. Available in English and Spanish.
Practice Guideline Update: Mild Cognitive Impairment
These guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology provide recommendations for clinicians concerning the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mild cognitive impairment.
Recommendations for Operationalizing the Detection of Cognitive Impairment During the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit in a Primary Care Setting
These recommendations from an Alzheimer’s Association-convened group of experts provide primary care physicians with guidance on cognitive assessment during the Medicare annual wellness visit and when referral or further testing is needed.
Professional training and curricula
Training Curriculum: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
Sixteen core modules and 11 supplemental modules developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce to train the primary care workforce about dementia care, help providers address caregiver needs and help caregivers cope with the challenges of caregiving.
ACT on Alzheimer’s Dementia Curriculum
This curriculum for clinicians and professionals in many disciplines covers assessment, screening, diagnosis, treatment, caregiver support and science.
Alzheimer’s Training for Health Care Providers
This nine-module CE credit course from the University of Kentucky trains healthcare providers, especially those in medically underserved areas, in dementia diagnosis and treatment, management and related topics.
Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Mini-Course
This mini-course includes four video presentations and companion slides from the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The mini-course covers healthy and unhealthy brain aging, clinical essentials of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, vascular brain injury and a research framework for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Training for professionals is also available through voluntary and professional organizations.
Talking with Your Older Patient
Learn to communicate effectively with older patients. Find out how to discuss cognitive impairment, break bad news and work with families and caregivers.
Researchers test new approaches to prevent delirium in older adults
Scientists are testing approaches to try and prevent delirium in hospitalized older adults, including cognitive screening before surgery, acetaminophen, and music.
Best Practice Caregiving Tool
This searchable database of vetted dementia care programs is designed to help healthcare and community-based organizations make informed decisions.
Clinical trials and studies
Dementia Research and Clinical Trials
Get information and resources for helping patients find and understand clinical trials.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement (ADORE) Resources
ADORE is a searchable collection of materials designed to support recruitment and retention into clinical trials and studies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It includes examples of Clinical Partnerships with Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers and other materials.
Talking With Your Patients About Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Clinical Trials
Find guidance, in English and Spanish, for discussing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias clinical research studies with your patients. Also, access resources to help them learn more about participation.
Patient and caregiver education
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral Center (ADEAR)
The National Institute on Aging’s ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for families, caregivers and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
Video: How Alzheimer’s Changes the Brain
This four-minute video shows how Alzheimer’s affects the human brain and looks at promising ideas to treat and prevent the disease.
Sign up for e-alerts about Alzheimers.gov highlights
For more information
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
The NIA ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
Explore the Alzheimers.gov portal for information and resources on Alzheimer’s and related dementias from across the federal government.
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
November 05, 2021