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Johns Hopkins research may improve early detection of dementia
Date:11/11/2013

t-tracked into clinical trials of medications to slow the progression of dementia.

"If we are going to have any hope of helping patients with Alzheimer's disease, we need to do it as early as possible," Schretlen says. "Once the brain deteriorates, there's no coming back."

Recent failures of drugs in late-stage clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease have been a real blow, he adds, but new treatments are being developed.

The new way of reading existing test scores follows a 2008 study by the same researchers showing that one of every six healthy adults scored poorly on two or more of 10 tests in a brief cognitive battery even though there was nothing wrong with them.

The main reason it is difficult to tell whether older people have benign mild cognitive impairment or not is because they are not routinely screened for cognitive impairment, he says. A visit to a specialist comes only after someone has noticed symptoms, and then cognitive testing is interpreted without the benefit of a baseline assessment. What would solve this problem, he says, would be for everyone over the age of 55 to get routine neurocognitive testing every five years.


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Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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