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July 2010

The Challenge and Public Health Implications of Alzheimer Overdiagnosis in the Oldest Old

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(7):899-901. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.138

The recent article by Cairns and colleagues1 describes a patient who developed episodic memory loss at 88 years of age and was diagnosed with dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT) at 90 years. At the time of his diagnosis, his Mini-Mental State Examination score was 26 of a possible 30. On subsequent evaluation, it was 28 of 30. This case report reflects the problem of an overt overdiagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD) in patients aged 85 years or older.

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