Executive Cognitive Impairment: A Novel Perspective on DementiaRoyall D.R.
Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Pharmacology, South Texas Veterans’ Health System Audie L. Murphy Division GRECC and University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex., USA
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In 1994 the American Psychiatric Association added impairment of executive control functions (ECF) to its list of cognitive domains that should be considered in the assessment of dementia. This recommendation has not been widely implemented. None the less, there is growing evidence that ECF impairment is common, strongly associated with disability and functional decline, and not well detected by traditional dementia screening tests. This article reviews the implications of ECF for the epidemiology of dementia. The total number of dementia cases may be much greater than previously thought and we are likely to be selectively missing cases with reversible causes of ECF impairment.
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