cognitive impairment

Managing Dementia in Primary Care

Managing dementia is one of the main roles for primary care providers (PCPs), and that role will likely continue to grow in the future. Indeed, the incidence of dementia is expected to double within the next 20 years, according to Barak Gaster, MD, who is presenting on dementia at Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series.

Dr Gaster is a professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. In his session, Dr Gaster spoke about the challenges of managing dementia.

“If we think we’re having a hard time managing dementia in primary care now, it’s really going to get more difficult in the years ahead and just so useful and important to manage it better,” says Dr Gaster in his presentation. “Because to some extent, this really is a primary care disease. There are few other serious illnesses where there’s not an easy specialist to refer someone to.”

The learning objectives included in this presentation are:

  • Interventions to maintain brain health in patients with cognitive impairment
  • Management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • Facilitation of advanced care planning discussions related to dementia

Dr Gaster first covers the steps PCPs must take after the initial diagnosis of dementia, such as key phrases and appropriate terms to use when discussing the diagnosis and prognosis of dementia. Also included in the session are the best ways to manage the progression of dementia, including both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment options. The session concludes with an overview on the importance of advanced care planning for patients with dementia.

For more meeting coverage, visit the Practical Updates in Primary Care newsroom.

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—Leigh Precopio



Gaster B. Managing dementia. Talk presented at: Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series; November 16-18, 2022; Virtual.