Neither Sanford nor her patient was involved in the new study, but she said the research is “interesting” and can be used to argue for more screening of mild cognitive impairment in seniors. “We find that dementia and cognitive impairment are much more prevalent in the general population than most people are aware of,” she said. Louis and a rural clinic, she found that “28% of the 10,288 people we screened met the criteria for dementia. Understanding that a patient struggles with mild cognitive impairment is helpful “because your approach to a patient changes when you know there’s memory impairment and you can start having those conversations with family earlier and plan for the future,” she said. Sanford said that early screening for cognitive impairment can lead to early awareness of a problem and can be helpful to both physicians and families.
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