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New UC Davis study finds early Alzheimer's identification method
Date:7/9/2010

bgroups of individuals based solely on their baseline imaging and laboratory measures. During the next three years, few of these healthy people showed any cognitive change. But cognitive tests for people in one of the subgroups about 10 percent of the sample declined at nearly five times the rate as healthy older adults. The researchers believe this group, which had the most extreme MRI and spinal fluid measurements, may represent the earliest stages of subclinical cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Beckett said that the finding is an important step toward discovering the constellation of imaging and fluid biomarkers that foreshadow cognitive decline, as well as a means of determining whether new treatments are effective.

"The problem with current clinical trials is that we don't know who is on the edge of experiencing dementia. And even if we did, how would we know if a treatment was working, since they haven't shown any clinical problems?" Beckett said. "This method could improve clinical trials for prevention and reduce the numbers of study participants necessary to speed drug discovery and eventually change how the pharmaceutical industry and National Institutes of Health conduct Alzheimer's disease clinical trials."


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Contact: Phyllis Brown
phyllis.brown@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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