A consensus of thought about the possible causes of Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment is mushrooming among scientists throughout the world. There is agreement in various degrees that the development of disease probably involves a complex interaction of genetic and environmentally influenced factors. The puzzle of unraveling these factors and their possible mechanisms can be significantly enhanced if we can compare the patterns of distribution of disease and the presence or absence of putative risk factors in populations living in quite different environments. Comparative studies offer enormous challenges to investigators. Such studies require rigorous adherence to methods which will ensure that the data produced in diverse settings will indeed be scientifically comparable. If comparative studies are to live up to the promise they hold for science, they must unequivocally yield data that will allow comparisons of “apples to apples.” The focus of this chapter is the assessment of cognition at the community screening level rather than in a clinical diagnostic level. This means that the cognitive assessment is given to individuals living in the community whom we invite to participate in a study, as opposed to motivated individuals bringing a complaint to a clinic for diagnosis and treatment. The assessment of cognition of interest for this chapter is determined by the criteria we use to diagnose dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Dementia|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Global Approach|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
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