Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
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Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


More than 4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. As our population ages, the number of AD patients may triple by the year 2020. The physician has a particularly important role in providing care for dementia patients and their families. If nursing home placement could be delayed for 1 month for each patient, it would result in an estimated savings of $5 billion, a major consideration in attempts to contain costs of health care. Appropriate management and utilization of services during the course of this disease can maximize patient and caregiver functioning as well as minimize behavioral difficulties and caregiver strain. This chapter provides specific recommendations for achieving this goal.

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