Although some of these people may go on to develop Alzheimer's disease there is currently no way to tell who is at risk, Snyder said. "This is why it is so important to continue to investigate biological changes that occur in the earliest stages, because it is difficult to [determine] the cognitive changes that are associated with Alzheimer's disease," she said.
Snyder noted that Alzheimer's disease can start 15 to 20 years before symptoms are apparent, which makes finding a biological marker so important. "If a therapeutic is available, we can intervene at that point," she said.
To learn about cognitive decline, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Archana Singh-Manoux, Ph.D., research director, INSERM, Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health, Paul-Brousse Hospital, Paris; Francine Grodstein, Sc.D., associate professor, medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., senior associate director, medical & scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Jan. 5, 2012, BMJ
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