top of page
Resources for the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment based
Proactive and Personalised Primary Care of the Elderly


dependent dementia woman old age alzheimer's retirement home care for the elderly

Dementia is a progressive and largely irreversible clinical syndrome that is characterised by a widespread impairment of mental function.

Although many people with dementia retain positive personality traits and personal attributes, as their condition progresses they can experience some or all of the following: memory loss, language impairment, disorientation, changes in personality, difficulties with activities of daily living, self-neglect, psychiatric symptoms (for example, apathy, depression or psychosis) and out-of-character behaviour (for example, aggression, sleep disturbance or disinhibited sexual behaviour, although the latter is not typically the presenting feature of dementia).

6CIT - Kingshill version 2000

Six Item Cognitive Impairment Test - Kingshill version 2000

Brief screening for early dementia

5-10 min.


Ascertain Dementia 8 Item questionnaire

Brief screening for early dementia

5-10 min.


Self Administered Gerocognitive Exam

Detect early signs of cognitive (memory or thinking) impairments.Accurately identify early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia

10-15 min.


Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination

Test for early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia

10-20 min.


too complex for use in Primary Care

hence not included in this toolkit

Neuro-Psychiatric Inventory Questions

To assess psychopathology in the person with dementia and to help distinguish between the different causes of dementia

Making a diagnosis of dementia in the early stages can be a clinical challenge.

The insidious and variable emergence of dementia symptoms makes recognition of the syndrome problematic, particularly in the primary care setting, with the often limited time available for consultation (Iliffe S, 2009)

In addition, physicians need to be wary of patients' ability to hide their symptoms. In the early stages of dementia, accommodation to or denial of changes in cognition, functional ability, mood, or behavior are common coping strategies (Woods RT, 2003).

As the person's denial strengthens, the concerns of the family become more pressing, with the physician often caught in between and faced with apparently irreconcilable needs.


The proposed diagnostic criteria move away from the traditional 2-step approach of first identifying dementia according to degree of functional disability and then specifying its cause (Dubois D, 2007).

Instead, they aim to define the clinical, biochemical, structural, and metabolic presence of AD at the earliest stages before full-blown dementia.

These new criteria are centered on a clinical core of early and significant episodic memory impairment.

They stipulate that there also must be at least one or more abnormal biomarkers among structural neuroimaging with magnetic resonance imaging, molecular neuroimaging with PET, and CSF analysis of β-amyloid or τ proteins (Dubois D, 2007).

For example, a decrease in the β-amyloid (1–42) peptide and an increase in the τ and phospho-τ proteins may be the earliest signs of AD (Dubois B, 2009).

These criteria represent a cultural shift requiring a more biologically focused workup than previous approaches, and their timeliness is highlighted by the development of drugs that are directed at altering pathogenesis, particularly at the production and clearance of β-amyloid.

pensive elderly old man_edited_edited.png

Dementia is one of 4 sub-domains of the

Psychological Assessment

Back To : Psychological Assessment

doctor and patient

The Psychological Assessment is one of 8 domains of the

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)

Back To : Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment


Neuroimaging for Psychiatric Disorders

Go To : Neuroimaging for Psychiatric Disorders

bottom of page