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Detection and Prevention of Cognitive Decline

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 3/1/2017

Expiration Date: 2/1/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5

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Increasing life expectancy has led to a greater prevalence of age-related cognitive decline. By the age of 65, the risk for major neurocognitive disorder is 10%, and by age 85 it is closer to 40%. Neuropsychological testing can detect evidence of mental decline in people by age 45, and survey data indicates 14% of young adults report memory problems. An evaluation can differentiate normal aging from mild and major neurocognitive disorders, as well as causes of cognitive decline, such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Alzheimer’s disease. Symptomatic drug treatments provide temporary cognitive, functional, and behavioral benefits to patients with major neurocognitive disorders, but benefits of early drug treatment in patients with minor neurocognitive disorders has not been systematically confirmed. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that healthy brain habits such as physical exercise, mental stimulation, a Mediterranean-style diet, and stress management, may delay the onset of cognitive symptoms. Recent research also indicates a 25% reduction in modifiable risk factors could potentially prevent as many as 500,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States alone and three million cases worldwide. This presentation reviews the latest evidence on the detection and prevention of cognitive decline and strategies for maintaining both physical and mental exercise and proper nutrition.

**This content was captured at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM. 


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

Free member registration for this course through the Course of the Month program ended on March 31, 2017.

Educational Objectives

  • Define Alzheimer’s disease and identify the methods and tests used to diagnose it
  • Describe the different pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments used to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Explain specific strategies and tools to help all patients improve their brain health

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Resident/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: March 1, 2017
End Date: February 1, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the event date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Gary W. Small, M.D., University of California-Los Angeles. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Lisette A. Rodriguez-Cabezas, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Deputy Director, Development and Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Claire Van Wagner, Membership Development Coordinator, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact for questions about this course | Contact for technical assistance

All materials copyright American Psychiatric Association ©2017.

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