Irvine, CA (PRWEB) July 31, 2006
A recent study, the Hancock County Aging Study, found 23% of patients in a primary care population had cognitive impairment. However, two-thirds of those who were diagnosed as impaired had no outward symptoms or functional decline. The MCI Screen enabled the diagnosis of pre-symptomatic patients and identified impaired patients much more accurately than assessments that have historically been used by clinicians. This high level of accuracy is in line with the findings of a peer-review study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (Shankle, W. R. et al, (2005), PNAS, 102(13), 4919-4924) verifying that the MCI Screen is 97.3% accurate in distinguishing between Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and normal aging. The recent findings were presented on July 17, 2006 at the 10th International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders, presented by the National Alzheimer’s Association held in Madrid, Spain.
Mild Cognitive Impairment is the first clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease and often lasts approximately seven years before progressing to mild Alzheimer’s. Currently, up to 95% of Alzheimer’s patients are diagnosed when the disease has progressed to the moderate stage. Diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the mild cognitive impairment stage will have a tremendous impact on patients, caregivers and the health system. “In Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of memory impairment, the longest clinical studies have shown a delay in disease progression greater than 50% when treatment is initiated early” says Dr. William Shankle, Chief Medical Officer of Medical Care Corporation. “This delay often means that a patient spends their last years living more independently at home as opposed to confined to a care facility. Likewise, a delay in loss of independence and function reduces caregiver burden and healthcare costs.”
Dr. Douglas Trenkle, D.O., a board certified internist in Hancock County, Maine, assessed the memory of 240 patients aged 65 and older as part of their annual physical exam. Of the 240 patients, 183 were evaluated further as follows: each patient was assessed with the MCI Screen and two other widely used tests, the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), and the Clock Drawing Test (CDT). Additionally, the Functional Assessment Test (FAST) was used to establish the degree of functional capability in each person, from normal function to mild dementia. Patients with at least one abnormal result on any of the three assessments were further evaluated in accordance with published diagnostic guidelines which include blood and imaging tests.
Post assessment and diagnosis, 22.4% of patients were determined to be impaired and had structural evidence of cerebrovascular disease, global or hippocampal atrophy, hydrocephalus or tumor, and had a history or laboratory findings supporting MRI findings. 63.4% of patients identified as impaired had no or minimal subjective symptomatology.
Applying a complex scoring mechanism, the MCI Screen was able to accurately detect 96% of the impaired patients even though the majority did not manifest functional impairment.
In comparison, the MMSE detected 72% of the cases and the CDT detected 57%. The MCI Screen also properly classified 99% of the cases of the unimpaired patients as normal. The MMSE classified 68% and the CDT classified 70% of those without impairments as normal. Accuracy for the MMSE was 76% and for the CDT 69%. The MCI Screen™ performed much better showing accuracy of 97%.
About Medical Care Corporation
Medical Care Corporation specializes in the development of medical technologies that enable healthcare providers to deliver improved levels of care in the field of dementia. Medical Care Corporation’s electronic dementia care system gathers, organizes, and synthesizes patient and treatment information so that healthcare providers are equipped to provide care at the highest possible level. http://www.mccare.com
About the Hancock County Aging Project
The Hancock County Aging Project, a non-profit organization, conducts research and aims to uncover methods of preventing, managing and delaying diseases in the elderly population in order to increase quality of life. Hancock County Aging Study was the first study conducted by the organization. Currently 300 individuals are enrolled in this study.