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Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease: a relevant challenge for long-term follow-up of a population-based cohort 

Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease: a relevant challenge for long-term follow-up of a population-based cohort
Chapter:
Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease: a relevant challenge for long-term follow-up of a population-based cohort
Author(s):

Jean François Dartigues

, Leslie Grasset

, Tabue Teguo Maturin

, Alexandra Foubert

, Karine Pérès

, Catherine Helmer

, and Hélène Amieva

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0122
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date: 20 August 2019

The epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is difficult for several reasons: lack of operational criteria for AD; majority of incident cases occurring in very old people with multiple comorbidities; long prodromal phase before the dementia phase; large proportion of undiagnosed cases; and strong competition with death. There is no clear operational definition of cognitive decline and of impairment in social function related to this decline, and these clinical manifestations are the core of the clinical diagnosis of AD. Diagnosis is left to the the clinician’s subjectivity, which is influenced by the cultural context, the social context, and the expected efficacy of the treatment at the early phase of dementia. Several published papers are presented and conclusions discussed, including the protective effect of playing board games, the effect of changes in leisure activities with age, natural history of cognitive decline before AD according to education, and predictive score for dementia.

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