Should Cognitive Screening For Dementia Be a Regular Part of Medical Care?

Citing a lack of scientific evidence, an influential advisory panel has declined to recommend that older Americans receive ongoing cognitive screening as part of their medical care.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that it could neither recommend nor oppose cognitive screening because there is not enough scientific evidence of either harm or benefit. The panel’s work was an update to a 2014 evaluation that reached the same conclusion.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the task force wrote that “the evidence is lacking, and the balance of benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment cannot be determined.”

JAMA also published an interview with panel member Chyke A Doubeni of the Mayo Clinic. In the interview, Doubeni emphasized that the task force was not making a recommendation for or against cognitive screening for people 65 or older.

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