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Dental Health and Dementia: More than Forgetfulness

Course Number: 566

Cognitive Impairment Classifications

Dementia symptoms generally vary in severity and progress over time from no impairment to very severe dementia. Due to the heterogeneity in early symptoms and the differing speed of disease progression among individuals, early detection of dementias can be challenging. Both the Global Deterioration Scale/Reisberg Scale and the Functional Assessment Staging Test (FAST) assign seven stages to the progression of dementia (Figure 1).44 Familiarity with these stages and their associated symptoms may help dental healthcare providers identify at-risk individuals and refer them for cognitive screening at early timepoints in their dementia disease.

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