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Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease dementia stratified by severity as reported by caregivers in Japan

Authors Montgomery W, Goren A, Kahle-Wrobleski K, Nakamura T, Ueda K

Received 22 December 2017

Accepted for publication 12 April 2018

Published 16 July 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1843—1854


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

William Montgomery,1 Amir Goren,2 Kristin Kahle-Wrobleski,3 Tomomi Nakamura,4 Kaname Ueda5

1Global Patient Outcomes & Real World Evidence, Eli Lilly Australia, NSW, Australia; 2Real World Evidence, Kantar Health, New York, NY, USA; 3Global Patient Outcomes and Real World Evidence, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 4Bio-Medicines, Medical Development Unit, Eli Lilly Japan K.K., Tokyo, Japan; 5Health Outcomes, Health Technology Assessment, & Real World Evidence, Medical Development Unit, Eli Lilly Japan K.K., Kobe, Japan

Dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) imposes burdens on patients, caregivers, and society. This cross-sectional study examined caregiver-reported history of disease onset and AD dementia to inform efforts promoting early disease detection and diagnosis.
Methods: An online survey collected self-reported cross-sectional data – demographic characteristics, diagnosis, treatment experiences, and other information on disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment – from caregivers of patients with AD dementia. These characteristics were examined as a function of AD dementia severity.
Results: Three hundred patients with AD dementia were trichotomized by long-term care insurance levels reported by caregivers: 12.3% (n=37) as low severity, 63.7% (n=191) as medium severity, and 24.0% (n=72) as high severity. The Short-Memory Questionnaire and patient dependency scores both varied significantly across severity groups. AD dementia symptoms were most frequently first detected by a caregiver (58.7%) or the patient’s family (45.7%). However, in 13.7% of cases, symptoms were detected by a health care provider during a routine visit. Memory problems were the most frequent first symptoms (77.3%), followed by repetition (55.7%). Patients (73.7%) were taking symptomatic treatment such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or memantine. High-severity patients were older, had been diagnosed with AD dementia for a longer time, had more frequent reports of memory problems as the first symptoms detected, and required more hours of care per day, compared with low-severity patients.
Conclusion: Caregivers and families play an integral role in the identification of AD dementia patients, with memory problems being common first symptoms noticed by caregivers that led to a diagnosis of AD dementia. These results provide novel insight into the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of AD dementia in Japan and how these factors differ across the spectrum of disease severity.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease dementia, Japan, disease history, caregivers, treatment pattern

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