A study by researchers from the University of Michigan found that despite clear signs that their memory and cognitive abilities have diminished, more than half of seniors with these symptoms have not seen a doctor about them. The study, published in Neurology, documents a clear lack of clinical testing for seniors with signs of cognitive problems.
Individuals with severe symptoms of dementia and those who were married were more likely to have had their memory and thinking ability evaluated by a primary care doctor, neurologist or psychiatrist. The study included people with mild cognitive impairment through severe dementia, from all causes.
The study recommends early evaluation of seniors. according to the lead author, Vikas Kotagal, MD, MS,”the results of this study have implications in both primary care and specialty care settings. Recognizing cognitive impairment in older individuals is important, and physicians should explore reasons why dementia has occurred and communicate these findings clearly with patients and family members so that they can take this information with them when they leave the office.”