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Screening for mild cognitive impairment: If not now, when?

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Mitchell SB1, Black SE2.

Key Points

• The new Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care guideline recommends against population screening for cognitive impairment in adults 65 years of age and older.
• The guideline serves as an important reminder that we are lagging in our response to an imminent dementia epidemic.
• Asymptomatic first-degree relatives of patients with dementia may be an appropriate starting sample for eventual larger-scale screening programs.
• A robust, affordable biomarker needs to be identified for use as a presymptomatic population screening tool.
• Results of ongoing clinical trials in the asymptomatic stage of Alzheimer disease in at-risk people will help determine the direction of future efforts to prevent and treat the disease.

Resource: CMAJ. 2016 Jan 5;188(1):15-6.