Improving Diagnosis, Screening Patients More Efficiently in Alzheimer Disease: Katherine Turk, MD


The behavioral neurologist at VA Boston Healthcare System talked about screening patients for mild cognitive impairment to improve diagnosis in Alzheimer disease at the 2023 AAN Annual Meeting. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"I think we have a pretty good way to effectively diagnose patients with mild cognitive impairment because of Alzheimer disease with amyloid PET scans, and even lumbar punctures. But these forms of diagnosis aren't scalable across the entire country and in different sorts of population centers and rural areas. I think we need to find new ways of improving the diagnosis, making it easier, more cost effective, less invasive, and just scaling it up to the entire country."

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition of impairment in 1 or more cognitive domains, however, it is not associated with functional deficits or severe enough to be a diagnosis for dementia. Although the underlying pathophysiology of MCI is multifactorial, the clinical condition is considered a prodromal stage for the diagnosis of dementia, including Alzheimer disease (AD).1

At the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts, Katherine Turk, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, presented and moderated a talk about cognitive and behavioral neurology during a platform session. In her talk, she shared her insights on the present challenges in the brain health landscape and how clinical studies are working toward addressing the cognitive assessment gap to improve brain health in management and wellness. 

Turk, a behavioral neurologist at VA Boston Healthcare System, sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview at the AAN Annual Meeting to discuss important highlights of MCI in research and in clinical practice. She also spoke about what should be studied further in MCI in terms of getting an earlier diagnosis of AD for patients. Turk also discussed some of the challenges in getting disease-modifying therapies into the clinic, and the diagnostic tests that have helped to advance the field.

Click here for more coverage from AAN 2023.

1. Morató X, Marquié M, Tartari JP, et al. A randomized, open-label clinical trial in mild cognitive impairment with EGb 761 examining blood markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Sci Rep. 2023;13(1):5406. Published 2023 Apr 3. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32515-6
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