There is an urgent need in advanced dementia for evidence-based clinical prognostic predictors that could positively influence ethical decisions allowing health provider and family preparation for early mortality. Accordingly, the authors review and discuss the prognostic utility of clinical assessments and objective measures of pathological brain states in advanced dementia patients associated with accelerated mortality. Overall, due to the paucity of brain-activity and clinical-comorbidity predictors of survival in advanced dementia, authors outline the potential prognostic value of brain-state electroencephalography (EEG) measures and reliable clinical indicators for forecasting early mortality in advanced dementia patients. In conclusion, two consistent risk-factors for predicting accelerated mortality in terminal-stage patients with advanced dementia were identified: pressure ulcers and paroxysmal slow-wave EEG parameters associated with cognitive impairment severity and organic disease progression. In parallel, immobility, malnutrition, and co-morbid systemic diseases are highly associated with the risk for early mortality in advanced dementia patients. Importantly, the authors' conclusions suggest utilizing reliable quantitative-parameters of disease progression for estimating accelerated mortality in dementia patients entering the terminal disease-stages characterized by severe intellectual deficits and functional disability.
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- Disease comorbidity
- pressure ulcers
- prognostic predictors
- terminal stage