Show Summary Details
Page of

Assessment and investigation of the cognitively impaired adult 

Assessment and investigation of the cognitively impaired adult
Assessment and investigation of the cognitively impaired adult

Jonathan M. Schott

, Nick C. Fox

, and Martin N. Rossor

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 October 2021

A structured assessment of a cognitively impaired adult should aim to reach a specific diagnosis and to establish the impact of any deficits on the individual’s funcion. A detailed history supplemented wherever possible by an informant is the cornerstone of evaluation. A focused cognitive examination can determine the extent and focality of any cognitive deficits. The general and neurological examination can provide useful diagnostic clues, particularly in individuals with young-onset, or multi-system ‘dementia plus’ disorders. All patients with cognitive impairment should have screening blood tests and structural brain imaging which, as well as excluding mass lesions, can provide invaluable diagnostic information based on the presence/pattern of atrophy and signal change. A range of other investigations include functional and molecular imaging and lumbar puncture may be helpful. Once a diagnosis has been reached, a bespoke management plan should be designed, taking into account pharmacological therapies, and support for patient and carers.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.