An 80-year-old man has had a gradual memory decline over the past 10 years. A reversible cause of dementia cannot be found, and PET scan supports the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. In the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the EEG will usually show which of the following?
a. Spike-and-wave discharges
b. Periodic frontal lobe discharges
c. Focal slowing
d. Generalized background slowing
e. An isoelectric record
the answer is below…
The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.
The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.
This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.
The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.
All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.
The correct answer is d; Generalized background slowing.
The background posterior dominant rhythm on the normal adult EEG is a activity at 8 to 12 Hz. With Alzheimer’s disease, the frequency of this rhythm may slow, and the amount of time in which this rhythm is evident when the patient is lying relaxed with eyes closed may drop substantially. Periodic discharges in the form of sharp waves or spikes may develop during Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. EEG is otherwise not especially helpful in distinguishing between the common causes of dementia.