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June 11, 1997

Underrecognition of Dementia by Caregivers Cuts Across Cultures

Author Affiliations

National Institute on Aging Baltimore, Md
American Society of Clinical Oncology Alexandria, Va
University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1997;277(22):1758. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540460024016

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Ross and colleagues1 provides much-needed empirical evidence on the frequency with which family informants fail to recognize cognitive impairment among men later found to have a dementing disorder. Based on their findings, Ross et al1 make a case for public health education aimed at increasing awareness of the early signs of dementia and the value of timely evaluation. Early recognition of dementia, as Ross et al1 note, offers many potential benefits: prompt treatment of reversible causes of dementia and increased time to address safety needs and make financial arrangements and other plans.Ross and colleagues1 are to be commended for their important work. We strongly endorse their call for a focused educational effort and, in that context, wish to direct attention to the recently published Clinical Practice Guideline Number 19 (CPG19) on recognition and initial assessment of Alzheimer disease and related dementias.