Mayo Clinic expert explains why a change is needed when talking about dementia

One of the challenges in addressing Alzheimer’s illness, dementia, cognitive impairment and growing old is not associated to the circumstances themselves however slightly the terminology. That’s in accordance with Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, who suggests a new framework for dementia nomenclature is needed. Inconsistent use of phrases reminiscent of Alzheimer’s illness and dementia has compromised progress in medical care, analysis and improvement of therapeutics. Dementia-associated stigma additional contributes to inconsistent and imprecise language.

Watch: Dr. Petersen discusses why a change is needed when talking about dementia

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is accessible within the downloads on the finish of the put up. Please courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network. Name tremendous/CG: Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D./Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center/Mayo Clinic.

“We sometimes use these terms inconsistently. That confuses us as scientists, and clinicians. It confuses our patients and our families. So we decided to take a look at that whole issue and see if we could understand the problem, and then make some recommendations,” says Dr. Petersen.

In a lately printed paper authored by Dr. Petersen, the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease approved a committee to assist deliver consistency to using the phrases.

What’s the distinction between Alzheimer’s illness and dementia?

“Dementia is a clinical syndrome, which means that it has a set of clinical features of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease, though, implies that there’s an underlying biological cause of the dementia. Often we get these two terms confused,” says Dr. Petersen.

Clearing up the confusion

The initiative is organized into three teams: researchers and scientists, clinicians and public stakeholders. Focus teams, which included individuals from underrepresented teams, additionally have been asked to take a look at the varied cultural points surrounding this language.

“How the term dementia is used in one group might be quite different from how it’s used in another group. We put all of these inputs together and came up with a framework that we hope is going to help sort out how these terms should be used so that everybody is using them consistently.”

Dr. Petersen says the purpose is to not change any definitions of any illness, however slightly to make clear how totally different expert teams are defining the ailments.

“Is it clinically? Is it biologically? Or is it a combination of clinical and biologic features? So the framework is meant to characterize those distinctions,” says Dr. Petersen.

“We hope by clarifying how people are using these terms, we’ll be better able to communicate with patients and families when we discuss a disease like Alzheimer’s disease.”

The subsequent steps

Dr. Petersen says the subsequent step is going to be a beta take a look at of the brand new framework.

“In the next phase of this exercise, we’re going to ask clinicians, primary care physicians, and specialty clinicians to actually use this framework to see if it helps them explain the underlying diseases to the patients and to the families. We’re going to ask patients and families, ‘What did you understand going in? What do you understand going out?’ Same thing with the clinicians themselves,” says Dr. Petersen.

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