. Reporting dementia on the death certificates of nursing home residents dying with end-stage dementia. JAMA. 2008 Dec 10;300(22):2608-10. PubMed.

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  1. Under-reporting of AD in death certificates is an old story, dating back to the time Alzheimer disease was considered a presenile dementia. In our study of early-onset familial AD in Italy (1), affected members of the kindred, who generally died in their fifties, were uniformly recorded with "broncho-pneumonia" as the cause of death (Italian law or custom at the time allowed only one cause of death to be mentioned). During life, affected family members mostly received a diagnosis of "General Paralysis of the Insane." As late as 1973, after having examined a first cousin of our histologically proven AD proband, who displayed identical symptoms, the senior psychiatrist in charge, to whom I was explaining the interest of this case for research on AD, answered, "Thank you, my dear colleague, for bringing to my attention this most interesting instance of hereditary GPI."

    View all comments by Jean-François Foncin

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  1. Research Brief: Many Alzheimer Deaths Go Unreported