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CME: Alzheimer Disease (AD) and Its Complications: Best Practices, Emerging Therapies, and Barriers to Care

Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online CME self-learning program:


Alzheimer Disease (AD) is a degenerative disease that most commonly affects the elderly, although it is occasionally detected as early as middle age. AD accounts for over half of all diagnosed dementia, the prevalence of which is increasing. Once there is a diagnosis of probable AD, one must determine which pharmacotherapy, if any, is most appropriate for treatment of the patient. The literature suggests that gaps in care on the part of healthcare professionals exist. While some physicians continue to use the antiquated, nonspecific term “senile dementia” as a descriptive diagnosis of AD, perhaps suggesting a lack of understanding of the gravity of the disease state or its associated pathophysiology, other report feeling uncertain at times about now to best diagnosis of the disease, particularly in its very early stages. Moreover, a number of different practice guidelines have been updated recently, and HCPs are often unable to keep up with the publishing of literature and evolution of clinical practice.




Introduction, Disclosures

Epidemiology of and risk factors for AD

  • Statistics
  • Gender and racial disparities
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Comorbid diseases (diabetes, vascular disease)
  • Modifiable risk factors (smoking)

Symptomology and diagnosis of AD [Learning Objectives #1 and 2]

  • Onset and memory impairment
  • Cognitive decline (language, motor function, poor insight, neuropsychiatric manifestations)
  • Pathology and changes in brain
  • Imaging studies
  • Mini Mental State Examination

Treatment in patients with AD [Learning Objective #4]

  • Therapies: pharmacologic vs. non- (behavioral, rehabilitation), first-line and beyond
  • Emerging strategies, trends, and therapies in recent years  [Learning Objective #5]
  • Best practice: putting it all together
  • Patient cases [Learning Objective #6]

Complications and barriers to optimal care in patients with AD [Learning Objective #6]

  • The paradoxical range of cognitive and behavioral complications: agitation, involuntary emotional expression disorder, and apathy
  • Safety first: pitfalls in antipsychotic use
  • Adherence to therapy and modifiable risk factors
  • Relationship triad of healthcare professional, patient, and caregiver

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Target Audience:

Healthcare professionals specializing in: neurology, gerontology, internal medicine, palliative care, or those who otherwise commonly care for patients with AD or who frequently encounter them or their caregivers in practice.

This program is supported by an educational grant from AVANIR

Release Date: December 21, 2015 -- Expiration Date: December 21, 2017

Faculty: Mario Mendez, MD


Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Describe what is presently known about the pathophysiology of AD and the challenges associated with diagnosis and treatment of AD.
  • Evaluate a treatment plan for a specific patient based on degree of AD to optimize safety and efficacy, suggesting modifications for improvement.
  • Identify the present treatment options currently available for management of AD* and apply them to patient cases using evidence-based medicine.
  • Describe emerging drug therapies in the treatment of AD.
  • Describe barriers to care and suggest therapies for treating cognitive and behavioral complications secondary to AD


Accreditation for this program has expired as of 12/21/17. You may view the program, but no credit nor certificate will be issued.

Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

 As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.


Faculty Disclosure:  Mario Mendez, MD has nothing to disclose.


Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD is an officer and part owner of ScientiaCME, LLC.


Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from AVANIR


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowedge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Take the post-test
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural and Linguistic Competence

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.