New Screening Tool for Dementia

3 Jul 2018

Dementia is a devastating disease affecting nearly 5.7 million people of all ages living in the U.S. including nearly 5.5 million people ages 65 and older. Early detection is one of the key factors in slowing the progress of the condition and warding off symptoms longer.

Montefiore reports that nearly 28 million of the 36 million people believed to have dementia worldwide remain undiagnosed. Part of the reason is that there have been few tools allowing physicians to screen for early signs of dementia. The one tool, most commonly used to screen for dementia, is the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), but it isn’t the best test for detecting early symptoms of cognitive impairment. In fact, there have been few options available for this purpose, until now.

The Visual Association Test, or VAT, is a three-minute test involving pictorial cue cards designed to evaluated associative memory, according to Medscape. The results of imperfect VAT scores have been studied, along with declining MMSE scores concluding that people who displayed both were more likely to face a dementia diagnosis.

Now there is a new picture-based screening test being used to screen for dementia. This test, called the PMIS (picture-based memory impairment screening). This test when combined with the Blessed Information, Memory, and Concentration (BIMC) test, has a predictive value and specificity of 81 percent for detecting dementia, according to Practical Neurology. This test takes approximately four minutes but delivers much more information than other screening tests currently available.

Of course, detection is only half the battle. Once a diagnosis of dementia is made, it becomes essential to take steps to prevent the condition from worsening and to manage the various symptoms as they arise. Peace of mind is difficult for families and loved ones to find after a dementia diagnosis.

Chances are, you’ve heard stories about dementia patients who wander and become lost. It’s the kind of stuff your nightmares are made of when someone you love has this dreaded disease.

There are things you can do, however, to help. One of those things is to invest in GPS tracking for dementia patients. GPS tracking for the elderly can be set to notify you through phone, email, or text message whenever your loved one exits a designated area and allows you to track their locations live when you aren’t there to monitor their movements. This will help to ease your fears about a loved one wandering and becoming lost, or worse, during moments of confusion.

Combine this with new screening tools and you have a perfect setup to avoid some of the more terrifying scenarios dementia represents.

If you are interested in learning more about GPS tracking for dementia, reach out to us here at LiveViewGPS at 1-888-544-0494.

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