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Contempo 1998 |

Memory Loss—When Is It Alzheimer Disease?

C. Munro Cullum, PhD; Roger N. Rosenberg, MD
JAMA. 1998;279(21):1689-1690. doi:10.1001/jama.279.21.1689.
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MEMORY PROBLEMS are one of the most common complaints of elderly persons.1 Because the group of individuals older than 85 years is now the fastest growing segment of our society, it is critical for physicians to enhance their familiarity with the changes in memory associated with normal aging and to be able to identify the early signs of abnormal mental decline. Great progress has been made in the past few years in the ability to differentiate normal aging-related memory changes from the impairments associated with dementia, including Alzheimer disease (AD). Reassuring the patient with memory complaints who does not show evidence of a dementing disease on formal examination is important and gratifying. The early identification of a dementing disease is equally important to provide optimal care and plan for the future.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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