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J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Sep;137(9):1240-51.

Alzheimer's disease: psychopathology, medical management and dental implications.

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  • 1VA Greater Lost Angeles Healthcare System, Hospital Dental Service, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, USA.



The authors review the clinical features, epidemiology, pathophysiology, medical management, dental findings and dental treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).


The authors conducted MEDLINE searches for 2000 through 2005 using the terms "Alzheimer's disease," "geriatric," "epidemiology," "pathophysiology," "treatment" and "dentistry." Reports selected for further review included those published in English in peer-reviewed journals. The authors gave preference to articles reporting randomized, controlled trials.


AD is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by cognitive dysfunctions, particularly in learning and memory, and the emergence of behavioral abnormalities. Deficiencies in the cells responsible for storage and processing of information underlie the cognitive, functional and behavioral changes seen in patients with the disorder.


As the elderly population grows, increasing numbers of Americans with AD will require dental treatment. The prevalence of dental disease likely will be extensive, because of diminished salivary flow and patients' inability to perform appropriate oral hygiene techniques. Preventive dental education for the caregiver and use of saliva substitutes and anticaries agents by the patient are indicated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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