The several faces of dementia syndrome: How to diagnose clinically? [Abstract in English]

Luís Henrique Tieppo Fornari, Larissa Pacheco Garcia, Brigida Schembida de Oliveira, Liana Lisboa Fernandez


AIMS: This review describes the clinical aspects related to different dementia syndromes, aiming to become common in the medical field, the knowledge of the nuances that permeate the differential diagnosis of these disorders.
DATA SOURCE: A review of literature published up to October 2009 was conducted on Medline, Ovid, and Scopus databases, as well as on textbooks. Articles that focused on the pathogenesis and pathology were not prioritized, given the objectives of this study.
SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: This article reviews some aspects of reversible and irreversible dementia syndromes, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Disease, focusing on the clinic and diagnostic features that make them distinct entities.
CONCLUSIONS: The literature suggests that the diagnostic process of dementia syndromes is based mainly on clinical practice, prioritizing a rigorous assessment of mental status. However, neuroimaging evaluation and laboratory tests have considerable input in determining the underlying cause of dementia, revealing peculiarities that can guide the differential diagnosis. The diagnosis of different etiologies is important to the prognosis and the specific therapeutic approach.



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