The Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale is a good tool for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations

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Clarissa Giebel summarises a systematic review, which concludes that the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS) has good sensitivity (77.2%) and specificity (85.9%) for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations.

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Dementia risk factors in people with mild cognitive impairment

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Akshay Nair summarises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of modifiable predictors of dementia in mild cognitive impairment. The meta-analysis finds that diabetes and the presence of any neuropsychiatric symptoms significantly predicted the conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

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A multitude of systematic reviews on dementia diagnosis

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Clarissa Giebel highlights 5 new Cochrane reviews on dementia diagnosis, focusing on the Mini-Cog, IQCODE and MMSE diagnostic tests.

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Pointing the FINGER at a multi-component intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia

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Caroline Struthers critically appraises a recent RCT of diet, exercise, cognitive training and vascular risk monitoring to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in at-risk Finnish women.

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Exercise may help reduce falls in older people with dementia, but does the burden outweigh the benefit?

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Rosalyn Nelson writes her debut blog on a recent systematic review, which looks at the effectiveness of exercise programs to reduce falls in older people with dementia living in the community.

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Mini-Cog for dementia diagnosis in the community

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Clarissa Giebel writes her debut Mental Elf blog about a recent Cochrane systematic review of the Mini-Cog for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease dementia and other dementias within a community setting.

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Prescribing antipsychotics in primary care: new study highlights frequent off-label use

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Josephine Neale reports on a recent cohort study that finds less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotics are issued for main licensed conditions (e.g. psychosis or bipolar disorder). The research provides a reminder about the dangers of prescribing antipsychotics to people with dementia.

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Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Risk factors for dementia: separating the facts from the myths

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We are grateful to Josephine Neale who has read the 104 page World Alzheimer Report 2014 and summarised it for us in this very readable blog. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the risk factors for dementia, which focuses on a range of protective and modifiable factors.

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Medication in advanced dementia: how can we judge what is appropriate?

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Caroline Struthers appraises a recent US cross-sectional study of the use of medications of “questionable benefit” in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. She concludes that all medications are of questionable value if they have side effects which might have a negative impact on quality of life or are likely to cause harm.

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