Early Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease

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It is only recently that Alzheimer’s disease has become recognized as a major public health concern. Not only those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are impacted by the disease; the emotional toll exacted on caregivers is enormous, and the financial costs incurred by the United States are staggering. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can prevent costly and inappropriate treatment and permits earlier treatment of symptoms. There have been several recent pharmacologic advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including the development of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. For any intervention to prove successful, however, early and accurate diagnosis and effective disease management are crucial.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(suppl 9):15–21