Should older adults be screened for dementia?

Alzheimers Dement. 2006 Apr;2(2):76-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2006.02.005.


The question of whether to screen for dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been discussed in many forums throughout the world. Generally, medical advisory groups and policy-making groups have recognized the importance of early diagnosis but have uniformly avoided making recommendations to screen at-risk populations. This presentation reflects the support for reconsidering the importance of screening individuals at risk or above a certain age. In this statement, the majority of the authors support the consideration of dementia risk factors in individuals at age 50, with routine yearly screening after 75. Other authors remain concerned that the benefits of treatments of early disease do not yet support a general screening recommendation. These statements are made to encourage progress toward the development of a consensus regarding the widespread institution of screening policy. Accordingly, members of the worldwide scientific community are invited to add their perspective by contributing short commentaries (1500 words) on this subject.