The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found insufficient evidence to recommend routine screening for cognitive decline in older adults in the primary care setting.
Dementia affects up to 5.5 million Americans and its prevalence increases with age. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a decline in cognitive function that is not severe enough to interfere with independence in daily life. Early detection of MCI may help patients and their caregivers make both short- and long-term diagnostic and treatment decisions.
In 2003, the USPSTF found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening for dementia in older adults. To update its review, the USPSTF commissioned a systematic review of the evidence on screening for cognitive impairment, including dementia and MCI. Evidence on benefits, harms, and test performance of screening instruments and the benefits and harms of commonly used treatment and management options for older adults with MCI or early dementia was included in the review. The researchers found insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment.
The research is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.