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Thursday, February 22

Diagnosing Dementia: Screens Vs. Tests

VIDEO + TRANSCRIPT:

Dementia-screening is in the news due to potential confusion. A dementia-screen is a quick-and-simple way to see if a person should be worried about dementia. Dementia-tests, on the other hand, diagnose people to see if they actually have dementia, and to determine whether it is Alzheimer's, or another type of dementia. See what's right, when.



ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) - When it comes to memory loss, timing is everything. "It is critical to get an early and accurate diagnosis for dementia," said Teresa Galbier, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region. Galbier says a diagnosis is not as easy as it seems.

"Included in that diagnosis you should get a medical workup, you should get a medical history, blood work, and then have the diagnostic screening tools." She says this is far from the test being conducted at Marketplace Mall.

"This is a very preliminary test," said Sonostics Inc. Executive Vice President Kyle Washington. Washington is referring to a basic Stroop test that is administered by employees of Sonostics Inc. He acknowledges that it is a basic test that can be found online and cannot determine if a person has Alzheimer's, but adds "Whenever there is any indicators, we are going to recommend not only primary care but probably a specialist." Washington then goes on to say there is no diagnosing with these screenings.

"The way to do that is in the confines of a very private, confidential setting with a clinically trained professional, doctors, nurse practitioners, who can then administer the tests that are required for diagnosis," said Galbier.

Washington says no names are taken down, or any private information is taken. "We have no HIPAA obligations," said Washington.

Sonostics Inc was founded by Dr. Ken McLeod who is an MIT educated researcher and professor at Binghamton University. He recently published two papers illustrating the correlation between cognitive dysfunction and circulatory health. Those can be found here and here

Galbier says more studies need to be done to back the machine. Washington stands by the testing and hopes to improve the field. "Increase awareness of hope for early detection and reversal of cognitive impairment."

Doctors told News 8 that getting a medical doctor involved is important.


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