Diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's disease

Conn Med. 2003 Sep;67(8):505-10.


Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological condition that usually presents with short-term memory impairment, and then progresses to profound cognitive and physical disability. The diagnosis is based primarily on clinical findings with a definitive diagnosis only being possible with pathological examination of brain tissue. Alzheimer's disease causes distress to patients, families and caregivers. Most patients with advanced Alzheimer's disease need 24-hour supervision, often provided in a long-term care setting. Although no cure is available, with a variety of treatments, modest but measurable benefits are available. Research is being conducted to find more effective treatments and hopefully in time a cure or means of prevention. All physicians whose practice includes older patients need to possess some familiarity with the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memantine / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Vitamin E
  • Memantine