"Brain Screen": A self-referral, screening program for strokes, falls and dementia risk factors

Nir Giladi, Michael Mordechovich, Leor Gruendlinger, Herzel Shabtai, Doron Merims, Simona Naor, Rositsa Baltadzhieva, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Alexander Y. Gur, Natan M. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Falls, strokes and dementia can be predicted and their occurrence can be delayed or even prevented by treatment of risk factors. The value of screening self-referred adults is unknown. Objectives: To assess whether a screening program of self-referred adults provides new and valuable medical information on risk factors for falls, stroke and dementia. Method: We examined 514 self-referred people (59 % women, mean age 68 ± 8 years (range 44-89) and 14 ± 3 years of education) in our "Brain Screen" program. Participants completed detailed questionnaires and underwent a neurological examination, computerized gait analysis, carotid Duplex, serum lipid and homocysteine levels, a computerized neuropsychological battery (NeuroTrax®) and the Mini-Mental State Exam. Information that was detected by "Brain Screen" was compared with the self-reported data. Results: Unknown vascular risk factors detected by "Brain Screen" included: high cholesterol in 44 %, homocysteine > 10 μmol/L in 20%, > 1 mm carotid intima-media thickness in 13%, and carotid narrowing (> 30%) in 2.2%. Unknown risk factors for falls were detected in 66% of the subjects who never fell. Of the 205 subjects (44%) who complained of memory decline, 28% had objective memory disturbances compared with their age group. Mild cognitive impairment (amnestic MCI) was clinically diagnosed in 17% of the population and dementia in 5 %. Conclusion: Screening self-referred adults for falls, strokes and dementia risk factors detected significant unknown risk factors that can be treated in more than one-third of the participants. A national "Brain Screen" program can have significant impact on the health of the aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume253
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Fall
  • Prevention
  • Risk factor
  • Stroke

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