The Memory Clinic at Kaunas Clinical Hospital (Lithuania)

The Department of Geriatrics of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences has been established in 1995 and since that leads the development of geriatric medicine in Lithuania. Cognitive impairment is one of the major health problems in older adults, thus the geriatricians addressing this problem started consultation services for those having memory complaints. Close partnership with the Norwegian Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for aldring og helse and bilateral visits including joint projects enabled to apply the experience gained by foreign colleagues into clinical practice and expand services.

The number of visits increased, thus more geriatricians joined the team. Currently three geriatricians, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist and other specialists are involved into diagnostic and management protocol. In 2015, 554 patients visited Memory Clinic for the first time, overall 988 visits. In 2019, the numbers of first visits increased till 852 and 1456 overall visits.

We analyzed the characteristics of cognitive disorders of the older patients, visiting the Memory clinic for the first time and to identify the relationships between cognitive disorders and risk factors from the Memory clinic database. The research involved 202 patients of 60 and over year-old, who visited the Memory clinic in Kaunas Clinical Hospital for the first time.  82,7% of patient’s (n=167) had cognitive impairment: 81,4% (n=136) had dementia and 18,6% (n=31) mild cognitive impairment (MCI). By dementia severity, 15,4% of all patients were diagnosed with severe dementia, 72,1% - with moderate, and 12,5% - with mild. The most common cause of dementia syndrome was vascular dementia (in 41,9% of all cases), mixed type of dementia – 34,6%, Alzheimer disease - 15,4 %, and other causes - 4,4%. MCI had statistically significant relationship with lower education, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension. Dementia was associated with older age and lower education of the patients. Vascular dementia was associated with strokes, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, ischemic lacunar state, urinary incontinence and falls (p=0,001).

Community based early interventions controlling vascular risk factors, cognitive function screening and patients referral to Memory clinics have a priority in prevention of cognitive disorders in older population.