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Letters to the Editor  |   December 2006
Response
Author Affiliations
  • Kara S. Schmidt, PhD
    New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Osteopathic Medicine Stratford
Article Information
Geriatric Medicine / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Psychiatry / Urological Disorders
Letters to the Editor   |   December 2006
Response
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, December 2006, Vol. 106, 686-687. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.12.686
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, December 2006, Vol. 106, 686-687. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.12.686
We thank Roy R. Reeves, DO, PhD, and Mark E. Ladner, MD, for their comments regarding our July article (J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006;106:412-414). Our preliminary findings highlight significant associations between neuropsychiatric symptoms and the degree of medical illness in outpatients diagnosed as having dementia. We believe that primary care physicians play an important role in screening for mental status and behavioral change when patients report only physical symptoms. Conversely, physicians also need to be aware that neuropsychiatric symptoms or an altered mental status may be the only symptoms indicative of an underlying medical illness (eg, urinary tract infection). We absolutely agree with Drs Reeves and Ladner that there is a danger in attributing changes in mental status solely to a neuropsychiatric origin, especially in patients with dementia.