Recognizing Symptoms and Causes of Rapidly Progressive Dementia: Gregory Day, MD, MSc, MSCI, FAAN


The neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida provided perspective on his talk given at the 2023 AAN annual meeting on rapidly progressive dementia. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

"When we think about rapid progressive dementia, it is a big category. One thing that we've learned from our experience enrolling patients and assessing them is that if you take all comers, including inpatients and outpatients, there's a sizable proportion of patients that have a potentially treatment responsive because of rapid progressive dementia."

Rapidly progressive dementias (RPDs) are a collection of different heterogeneous diseases that include encephalopathies and atypically rapid presentations of more common neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers note that some of these conditions are treatable, although others require prompt diagnosis because of their potential infectivity.1

Gregory Day, MD, MSc, MSCI, FAAN, gave a talk on RPD in a seminar dedicated to aging, dementia, cognitive, and behavioral neurology at the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts. In the seminar, Day discussed the common causes and clinical features of RPD, as well as applying sensitive and specific tests to accurately diagnose patients with specific causes of RPD. Additionally, in the talk, he spoke about recognizing the clinical and paraclinical findings that suggest a potentially reversible cause of the condition.2

Following the seminar, Day, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to provide an overview of the talk. He discussed how RPDs compare with other neurodegenerative diseases, and the importance of recognizing the causes of RPD. Day also talked about some diagnostic tests used, including MRIs, and other predictive factors for identifying patients with reversible causes of RPD.

1. Hermann P, Zerr I. Rapidly progressive dementias - aetiologies, diagnosis and management. Nat Rev Neurol. 2022 Jun;18(6):363-376. doi: 10.1038/s41582-022-00659-0. Epub 2022 May 4. PMID: 35508635; PMCID: PMC9067549.
2. Day G. Rapidly Progressive Dementia: The Clinical Approach. Presented at: 2023 AAN Annual Meeting; April 22-27, Boston, Massachusetts. Rapidly Progressive Dementia seminar.
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