Memory Disorders – Diagnosis and Treatment
Current medicine is facing a new trend with significant socio-economic and therapeutic implications, namely the phenomenon of population aging. The global population is undergoing a pronounced aging process, with the elderly population accounting for 15% in developed countries, making Europe the most aged continent.
Clinical studies have suggested that approximately 25% of individuals over the age of 70 exhibit symptoms that can be classified as “dementia.” This syndrome describes significant losses in cognitive function, changes in behavior, as well as impairment in social and personal life.
In this context, early diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders are necessary to halt the overall functional deterioration of the body.
The diagnosis of the dementia syndrome is performed by the psychiatrist by integrating of diagnostic criteria listed in the ICD-10 (International Classification of Disease), DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and NIA-AA (National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer Association Workgroup), criteria, along with psychological examination, neurological examination, medical imaging, information about the patient’s personality, their level of previous functioning, and their life history. Dementia is a medical condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Early-stage diagnosis of dementia and complex interventions (such as individual and group psychotherapy, counseling for family members, management of psychiatric and behavioral disorders, periodic assessments of the quality of life for both the patient and their family, psychoeducation for family members to control emotional reactions during care, learning adaptation strategies to current living conditions, initiation of appropriate pharmacological treatment for symptomatology) can prevent rapid deterioration, unfavorable progression, and complications.
Advantages of early diagnosis of dementia include:
- Improved quality of life for the patient and their family members
- Access to appropriate therapeutic modalities for symptom control
- Economic benefits in patient care
- Making important decisions regarding the patient’s future
The diagnostic process should consider adaptation to the illness, obtaining information about evaluation results, and developing an appropriate post-diagnostic care algorithm by a multidisciplinary team.
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