Home » Spanish Medical Societies Launch Campaign for Early Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment on World Alzheimer’s Day

Spanish Medical Societies Launch Campaign for Early Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment on World Alzheimer’s Day

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Spanish Medical Societies Launch Campaign for Early Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment on World Alzheimer’s Day

Next September 21st marks World Alzheimer’s Day, a disease that affects 800,000 people in our country. Coinciding with this milestone, the mental health treatment and approach group of the SEFAC (Spanish Society of Community Pharmacy) and the neurology group of SEMERGEN (Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians), have joined together to launch a campaign focused on the early detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This initiative has had the collaboration of Nutricia, Danone’s specialized nutrition division.

MCI is a medical condition in which a person has mild difficulties in areas such as memory, language or attention, but can still carry out daily activities. In Spain, it affects three out of every ten people over 65 years of age. “Since mild cognitive impairment can be a precursor to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, it is essential to identify it early to allow appropriate intervention and improve patients’ quality of life.“, comments Dr. Amparo Bonilla Guijarro, Pharmacist Coordinator of the SEFAC mental health treatment and approach group.

Recognizing MCI early is essential. In a significant number of cases, “MCI is the first recognizable symptomatology of Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, the detection of this deterioration, especially in relatively young people who do not have other chronic diseases, can advance treatment measures that modify its progression,” explains Dr. Guillermo García Ribas, neurologist at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid.

MCI manifests itself through symptoms such as not remembering dates easily, having less skill in small daily tasks, forgetting the names of familiar people, losing the thread of conversations, experiencing behavioral changes (feeling of apathy or reluctance, loss of social skills), among others. These first signs remain within the family environment and the patient does not usually go to a health professional to suggest treatment. Faced with this situation, both medical societies join forces to help recognize MCI early, which will allow preventive and therapeutic measures to be included.

In the words of Dr. Enrique Arrieta, physician member of the SEMERGEN Neurology Working Group: “Just as there are already many experiences and a tradition of collaboration between our societies, SEMERGEN and SEFAC, in pathologies such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular risk, among others, cognitive deterioration and dementia are a health problem that affects to a significant percentage of the population, and which has important consequences in terms of disability, health costs and quality of life. Therefore, Collaboration between doctors and pharmacists can lead to an improvement in the care of these patients.”

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“Community pharmacists know our patients and in daily care it is easy to detect these symptoms, we must be attentive and work in coordination with health professionals in our health area. In addition, collaboration between primary care doctors and community pharmacists can facilitate optimal long-term follow-up of patients, which is crucial to monitor symptom progression and ensure adherence to treatments and their management, as necessary,” adds Dr. Amparo Bonilla.

“Being aware of the importance of supporting medical societies in this work of early detection of MCI, and with more than 125 years committed to research and innovation, at Nutricia we want to be at your side promoting projects that allow us to tackle a health problem in growth in an increasingly aging population”, declares Gonzalo Zarate, medical director of Nutricia.

Among the actions that have been planned within the framework of this collaboration, SEFAC, with the support of SEMERGEN, has created the “Pharmaceutical Update Guide for Mild Cognitive Impairment” which will be very useful as a reference manual in daily work of the pharmaceutical professional. Thus, the objective is to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of MCI from the pharmacy. It is a tool that “For the community pharmacist, it will have a significant impact on routine clinical practice in the care they provide to patients.” explains Dr. Bonilla.

The guide will provide the community pharmacist with essential information on the symptoms and signs of MCI. This will allow them to recognize early signs of cognitive impairment in patients who visit the pharmacy. In addition, it will provide them with the main tools available to perform optimal screening for MCI in patients who are suspected of this disease according to risk factors that are also analyzed in the guide. Consequently, the pharmacist will be more agile in referring patients to the primary care doctor to confirm the diagnosis of the disease. Likewise, the guide will allow the community pharmacy professional to be updated on the pharmacological and nutritional treatments available for the treatment of MCI.

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“Ultimately, the guide will become a very valuable reference tool for the community pharmacist, allowing them to collaborate effectively with other health professionals and to be updated on the latest advances in detection, management and treatment of MCI for the benefit of the patient and the community. the society”, concludes Dr. Bonilla.

On the other hand, the holding of the webinar “The importance of early diagnosis and multidisciplinary approach to MCI”. The objective is to raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis of cognitive impairment and provide tools so that it can be carried out in different healthcare devices.

“Although we are in a time of change in the therapeutic approach to cognitive impairment, with recent drugs that modify the course of the disease, these are not accessible to all patients. Secondary prevention strategies, such as early diagnosis, maintain their importance so that the deterioration associated with the disease is as slow and late as possible and allows the implementation of other preventive and therapeutic measures that improve the quality of life of patients and their families. caregivers. “All of us who are going to participate in the webinar are involved in this objective: doctors specializing in Family Medicine and Neurology, Pharmacists, and also patients,” comments Dr. Arrieta.

Experts state that recognizing MCI early is key, since in some cases it can be treated so that it progresses more slowly and will allow preventive and therapeutic measures to be included, as well as planning care for each patient. Many patients are not aware that there are therapeutic and non-therapeutic solutions for the early stages of MCI.

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Among foods for special medical uses (AUMEs), there is a solution that contributes to the improvement of neuronal connection (synapses), which is the case of Souvenaid®. It is the only AUME with proven efficacy in improving the cognitive function of patients with mild cognitive impairment. It contains Fortasyn® Connect, a combination of nutrients that has benefits on the affective and behavioral symptoms that accompany this deterioration. This solution (ready-to-drink product) has more than 20 years of research and scientific evidence that supports it and is the non-pharmacological option best valued by neurologists.

“In short, diet plays an important role in healthy aging. It should be noted that in people with MCI due to AD, the continued intake of specific nutritional preparations has shown less decline in memory tests and greater mood and behavioral stability in general.” concludes Dr. García Ribas.

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