From Huffington Post UK…
It may be possible to detect future Alzheimer’s in patients before signs such as memory loss and dementia are clinically apparent, scientists have revealed.
Most researchers think this preclinical stage – which can last a decade or more before symptoms appear – is the critical phase when the disease might be controlled or stopped. Therapeutic intervention could prevent the failure of memory and thinking abilities in before they start to decline.
“For new treatments, knowing where individuals are on the path to Alzheimer’s dementia will help us improve the design and assessment of clinical trials,” said senior author Anne Fagan, PhD, research professor of neurology.
She added: “There are many steps left before we can apply this system in the clinic, including standardising how we gather and assess data in individuals, and determining which of our indicators of preclinical disease are the most accurate. But the research data are compelling and very encouraging.”
According to researchers, the new findings offer reason for encouragement. Results show that the system can help predict which cognitively normal individuals will develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s and how rapidly their brain function will decline. But they also highlight additional questions that must be answered before the classification system can be adapted for use in clinical care.
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