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A new diagnostic tool for dementia diseases
Date:6/5/2014

A new diagnostic tool helps clinicians to differentiate between Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Presented in the doctoral thesis of MD Miguel ngel Muoz Ruiz at the University of Eastern Finland, the new method consists of a Disease State Index combining data from multiple sources, and of a Disease State Fingerprint showing the findings in a visual format.

It is estimated that more than 35.6 million people were living with dementia worldwide in 2010. This number will increase in the coming years and there is a need to identify these patients to provide them with proper treatment and care from the very beginning of the disease.

The differential diagnosis of the dementia diseases represents a challenge particularly in the early phases. Many studies have focused on predicting the possible conversion from mild cognitive impairment, a pre-dementia stage, to Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common dementia disease. Several methods have also been proposed for differentiating between AD and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), another relatively common degenerative dementia. An early and precise diagnosis of these two dementia diseases is needed in order to benefit from treatments designed to influence the disease mechanisms.

In the recent years, important advances have been made especially in the development of new diagnostic methods. Several biomarkers and tests are used in the clinical practice, such as cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, imaging methods, genetic profiling and neuropsychological tests. However, making a differential diagnosis is not easy due to overlapping clinical and biomarker findings and the unavoidable subjective component when a clinician interprets all this multitude of data. Furthermore, there is no single biomarker or test which could clearly define whether a patient is suffering from AD or FTD.

The thesis of Dr Muoz Ruiz introduces a new combination of different methods for
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Contact: Miguel Ángel Muñoz-Ruiz
miguel.munoz@uef.fi
358-440-707-113
University of Eastern Finland
Source:Eurekalert

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