Practical Principles for the Management of Alzheimer's Disease



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Alzheimer's disease is a complex disorder that is particularly challenging to treat and manage. Early recognition of Alzheimer's disease is the first step toward providing patients with optimal therapy and the best opportunity for treatment response. Subsequently, physicians will need to address issues that emerge as the disease inevitably progresses. As the number of elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease increases, it becomes increasingly important for the primary care physician--usually the first line of patient contact--to diagnose Alzheimer's disease early, and initiate and manage appropriate long-term cholinesterase inhibitor therapy, which has been shown to provide significant benefits to Alzheimer's disease patients. In this article, discussions of individual patients illustrate commonly encountered situations in the primary care setting.

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2002;4(2):63-69