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J Clin Psychiatry. 1978 Jul;39(7):599-603.

Diagnostic delay in presenile dementia.


In a retrospective study, patients with presenile dementia and histories of symptoms of depressive illness and of antecedent diagnosis of depressive disorder were found to have significantly longer intervals from initial physician contact to final diagnosis than patients without such histories. Patients with histories of psychiatric treatment prior to final diagnosis also had longer intervals, with differences approaching statistical significance. In contrast, intervals from symptom onset to first physician contact were noted to be shorter for those patients with these antecedent histories. A discussion of these results, a review of the relevant literature and an illustrative case report are presented.

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