Contemporary challenges and updates and in the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease – from early disease onward
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Activity Description / Statement of Need:
In this online, self-learning activity:
Alzheimer disease (AD) is a degenerative disease that most commonly affects the elderly, although it is occasionally detected as early as middle age. AD’s prevalence has more than doubled since the year 2000, with recent data suggesting that it will double again by the year 2050. In 2020, AD was the seventh-leading cause of death in the US, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased AD-related mortality by 16%. Furthermore, AD impacts the family members and loved ones of people with AD. More than 11 million Americans are estimated to provide 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care, with costs expected to exceed $1 trillion by the year 2050.
AD has traditionally been difficult to diagnose because its onset is oftentimes insidious, with a definitive diagnosis made only on neural tissue examination. The disease is often undetected in its early stages because the symptoms can be similar to cognitive decline that is generally assumed to occur naturally with the aging process, such as forgetfulness and difficulty learning new information. When a patient presents with possible AD, the gathering of information from the family members and specific cognitive tests are used to rule out other possible diseases and to rule in the probable diagnosis of AD. While a number of different practice guidelines are available, but none are recent enough to cover the incorporation of monoclonal antibodies into care and developments in the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease, including eligible candidates for therapy. Helping the clinician discern the role of these agents merits CME as research suggests that HCPs are unable to keep up with the publishing of literature and evolution of clinical practice.
The following HCPs: Neurologists and primary care physicians; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in neurology; and any other HCPs with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with AD or who frequently encounter them or their caregivers in practice.