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Early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease prevents psychological and behavioral symptoms

Persons with Alzheimer's disease are able to manage their everyday activities longer and they suffer from less psychological and behavioural symptoms if the diagnosis is made and treatment begun at a very early phase of the disease, indicates a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland.

The study followed persons with Alzheimer's disease over a course of three years. The study participants were diagnosed either at the very mild or mild phase of the disease and treated within the standard healthcare system.

According to the study, persons with a very mild Alzheimer's disease at the time of the diagnosis and start of the Alzheimer's disease targeted therapy are better able to manage their everyday activities than persons diagnosed at a more advanced phase of the disease. In addition, in relation to the stage of the disease, they also had less psychological and behavioural symptoms during the follow-up.

According to the researchers, Psychologist Ilona Hallikainen and Adjunct Professor, Psychologist Tuomo Hnninen, the results show that an early detection of the disease is important. Persons with Alzheimer's disease may be able to live at home longer if they are able to manage their daily activities and have less psychological and behavioural symptoms.

In addition, the study enhanced knowledge about the use of common diagnostic tests during a follow-up. The results have been accepted for publication in the journal International Psychogeriatrics. Ms. Hallikainen presented the results at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in Boston on 17 July.


Contact: Ilona Hallikainen
University of Eastern Finland

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