Alzheimer’s Risk and Genetic Factor

Alzheimer’s Risk and Genetic Factor – A study that was conducted by the University of Washington shows that early diagnosis of cognitive impairment can’t lead to substantial savings in medical costs for patients with Alzheimer’s, and other age-related cognitive issues.

Patients often are not diagnosed until they are in the late stages of the disease, when their day-to-day functioning is affected. Many are just not aware that there is a problem until they reach that stage. They often will continue to try to manage on their own, and may fail to take medication.

A number of simple techniques exist to screen for memory problems, but many doctors don’t routinely use them. Efforts are being made to help doctors diagnose these issues more quickly.

The study examined the cost-effectiveness of an early diagnosis in patients with Alzheimer’s. The study showed that the average cost of all medical care for patients who have dementia dropped $1,700 in the year following the diagnosis compared to the previous year.

“I think the importance of this demonstration model is that we saved costs in the first year,” said Dr. McCarten. “People are afraid that if you implement this screening model, it will break the bank.”

The savings likely come when the families do not rush their family members to urgent care facilities when they are unsure about what is wrong with them. When the diseases are identified in their early stages, family members are able to pinpoint the problem, and do not rush to the emergency room to have them evaluated.

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