Navigation Links
New Criteria for Alzheimer's Diagnosis Proposed

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- A draft proposal that would update the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease for the first time in 25 years has just been presented to Alzheimer's experts.

The key change would put more focus on the various stages of the condition, according to the drafts from three workgroups convened by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association.

While these criteria are still in use, experts say the field has changed a great deal since they were created in 1984.

"These changes are inevitable, given the forward movement of the scientific knowledge regarding Alzheimer's -- how it develops, how it progresses and how it impacts the patient," said Dr. Martin Goldstein, director of the department of neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Developing methods to identify Alzheimer's in its first stages is essential to the early diagnosis of the disease, he added. This can also lead to new treatments.

"The proposals would change the 1984 criteria by better reflecting the various stages of the disease and the inclusion of Alzheimer's disease biomarkers," William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer's Association, said in a news release from the organization.

"While the role of biomarkers differs in each of the three stages, much remains to be understood concerning their reliability and validity in diagnosis. This makes it critical that we thoroughly test any new recommendations," Thies added.

The proposed changes were presented Tuesday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2010, in Honolulu.

Among the reasons the criteria need to be updated is the new understanding that Alzheimer's starts years before symptoms are apparent, experts said. The earlier the disease can be identified, the better are the chances to slow its development, they added.

Among the ways researchers are identifying Alzheimer's are through genetic analysis and with biomarkers that can be seen on PET and MRI scans and in cerebrospinal fluid.

These include finding disorders in beta amyloid metabolism and the molecules tau and phospho-tau in cerebrospinal fluid.

In addition, since 1984 there has been a better understanding of the differences between Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

Much more is known about dementia caused by Lewy Body disease and Pick's disease and other frontotemporal dementias.

The proposed changes in diagnosing Alzheimer's will take into account preclinical disease, which can help identify Alzheimer's before symptoms appear; mild cognitive impairment, which can be the first signs of Alzheimer's; and looking into recommending specific biomarkers, which can aid in diagnosis.

Goldstein noted that these proposed changes will lead to new problems, including who should be screened and at what cost. "These changes have significant economic service delivery implications. It has significant public health implications, but it's ultimately a worthy goal," he said.

In addition, there are no effective treatments for Alzheimer's. "Current treatments are primarily symptomatic," Goldstein said. "The ultimate goal is stopping the pathological process long before it develops a momentum that can't be stopped."

Another expert, Mony de Leon, director of the Center for Brain Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, called the proposed changes "long overdue."

The ultimate goal is to find a treatment for Alzheimer's, de Leon said. "But unless you know who needs the drug, how do you develop a drug?" he stated. "You need the early diagnosis before you can even consider the prevention work."

David Loewenstein, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, added that "a diagnosis of Alzheimer's used to be a diagnosis of exclusion."

If a patient had cognitive impairment that interfered with their social functioning, then Alzheimer's disease was the diagnosis by excluding all other causes, he explained.

"These new criteria are based on the fact that new science is showing that we actually have biomarkers that are sensitive to early Alzheimer's disease," Loewenstein said.

More information

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Mony de Leon, Ed.D., professor, department of psychiatry, and director, Center for Brain Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Martin Goldstein, M.D., assistant professor, and director, department of neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; David Loewenstein, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; July 13, 2010, Alzheimer's Association meeting, Honolulu

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Professionals think that there arent criteria for certifying that an illness is terminal
2. New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia
3. New CASA* Report Finds: 65 Percent of All U.S. Inmates Meet Medical Criteria for Substance Abuse Addiction, Only 11 Percent Receive Any Treatment
4. Genetic Ancestry Data Improve Diagnosis in Asthma and Lung Disease
5. Many Docs Deliver Cancer Diagnosis Badly: Study
6. Why are blacks more likely to die from cancer diagnosis?
7. AAO-HNS releases consensus statement: diagnosis and management of nasal valve compromise
8. How likely is misdiagnosis?
9. Partners grieve rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis as much as patients
10. Lung cancer research concludes that early diagnosis as key for improving survival
11. False positives in TB diagnosis lead to real negatives for HIV patients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New Criteria for Alzheimer's Diagnosis Proposed
(Date:11/24/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... sizes, has launched their Black Friday sale a week early, offering 40% off ... to transform the intimate apparel industry through both mobile fit technology and the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Preparing for the ... – 3:00 p.m. EST, , FDA has long asserted that design ... apply to performing the tests and do not meet the device regulations. , Come ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... United Benefit Advisors (UBA), ... & Company as its newest Partner Firm. Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, their ... trusted advisor regardless of whether that client is a business, a family, or ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... With Thanksgiving right around the corner, holiday travel season is ... your family and vehicle. , According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 301 ... sharing the following safety tips from the NHTSA: , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Rodney E. Willey , has answered a ... Koala Center for Sleep Disorders, provides treatment for snoring and sleep apnea through ... a Koala Center for Sleep Disorders in the US, one of four in the Illinois ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Enova Illumination is pleased to ... Helsinki, Finland to combine their world ... the cutting edge of medical visualization: Enova is the ... the United States and Novocam is the ... provide the world,s most powerful battery-operated LED headlight with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ... and consumables for the medical, research, and veterinary markets ... Financial Officer, will present at the 27 th ... 2015 at 11:30 a.m. ET. The conference will be ... New York City . Abaxis, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...   Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MSTX), ... sealant technology (MAST) platform to develop novel therapies for ... that the Company,s Chief Executive Officer, Brian M. ... th Annual Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, December 1, ... Palace hotel in New York City ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: