2005 issue 4


Volume 14, issue 4

Review article

''Reversible dementia'' - history of the concept, critical review and implications for clinical practice

Tomasz Sobów1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Podeszłego i Zaburzeń Psychotycznych Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Łodzi
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2005; 14 (4): 331-336
Keywords: dementia, diagnosis, reversibility


Objectives. The paper presents a historical background, research on and practical aspects of the so-called "reversible dementia ".

Background. The prevalence ofpotentially reversible causes ofcognitive deficits including full-blown dementias in clinical populations has been investigated in relatively few studies. A review of the literature suggests that since reversible dementias are more common among younger and less impaired subjects, it is in this group of patients that particularly precise diagnostic procedures should be applied. Careful diagnostics revealing potential causes of dementia does not signify an effective treatment; it follows from metaanalysis data that true reversibility (i.e. an effective treatment applied and deficit alleviated) is rare and close to only 1% of all cases with dementia.

Conclusions. Since a majority ofpatients with mild cognitive deficits are seen by family doctors, the latter should have not only an appropriate professional training enabling them to recognize such conditions, but also an access to diagnostic procedures including neuroimaging that facilitate an accurate differential diagnosis.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Tomasz Sobów, Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Podeszłego i Zaburzeń Psychotycznych Uniwersytetu Medycznego, ul. Czechosłowacka 8/10, 92-216Łódź, e-mail: tmsobow@csk.am.lodz.pl