Patients with dementia benefit in many ways from early recognition of the condition. However, changes associated with early stage dementia can be subtle. You were able to make a diagnosis of dementia in Dr Zheng from the history, simple screening tests, and physical examination findings.
Memory loss or memory impairment was evident from Dr Zheng’s difficulty remembering meetings, dates, events and words, and his vague answers to certain questions.
Dr Zheng’s apathy with his usual activities and inability to schedule or plan his day suggests a disturbance in executive functioning, which is corroborated on his clock-drawing screen.
The lack of any precipitating event is consistent with a gradual onset of cognitive decline.
Dr Zheng was diagnosed with Dementia (Alzheimer’s Type).
An advanced care plan was established, wills finalised and an enduring power of attorney appointed.
Further advice for Dr Zheng included:
- staying physically active
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- striving to stay mentally active
- giving himself more time to complete tasks