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Multiple Etiology Dementias: Develop differential AD/ADRD diagnosis (Milestone 9.L)

AD Related Dementias Focus

Improving differential diagnosis of symptomatic cognitive impairment.

Success Criteria

  • Initiate research to achieve improved and increased differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment and dementia disorders, including using biomarkers when possible, by medical specialists who serve the general public (e.g., but not limited to, neurologists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists and geriatric psychiatrists). This research is to be designed for caregiver buy in and impact in urban, suburban and rural environments, including in populations with health disparities. In addition to differential diagnosis across AD/ADRD, the research must also focus on differential diagnosis of rapidly progressive dementias as well as potentially treatable cognitive impairment and dementia. The research outcomes will include concise and implementable recommendations for medical follow-up based on the results of differential diagnoses.
  • Make available effective cognitive impairment and dementia differential diagnosis paradigms to providers, including in community-based settings. 
  • Conduct an evaluation to determine the economic impact of earlier differential diagnosis.

Summary of Key Accomplishments

NIH-funded researchers are developing a variety of tools for diagnosing dementia, including a tablet-based screening tool for early dementia screening in primary care and sensitive blood tests that can discriminate between different AD/ADRDs. Regarding the economics of differential diagnosis, the pharmaceutical company Biogen sponsored an informative literature review that concluded the social and informal costs of dementia care far outweigh the direct healthcare costs associated with differential diagnosis of ADRDs.

This information is current as of July 2022.

Research Implementation Area
In Progress

Accomplishments/Implementation Activities

Funding Initiatives

Research Programs and Resources

Relevant Recommendations

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