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CONy 2024 | The key components of RPD assessment

Michael Geschwind, MD, PhD, FAAN, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, outlines the key components of rapidly progressive dementia (RPD) assessment. Dr Geschwind helped to establish an inpatient hospital program for the assessment of RPDs at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the first of its kind in the United States. For reasons related to insurance, all patients are now assessed in the outpatient setting; however, if a patient exhibits rapid decline, they are admitted for treatment. The assessment of patients with RPD involves a two day outpatient visit during which patients undergo multiple tests. These include a detailed neurological exam, a battery of cognitive tests, and samples taken from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Skin biopsies have also been added for the detection of prion proteins, and in the future, nasal biopsies and samples of tears are likely to be included. Dr Geschwind highlights that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used is specialized to allow for improved diagnosis and for the observation of the connectivity in various brain regions. This interview took place at the 18th Annual Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy 2024) in London, UK.

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