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New method predicts time from Alzheimer's onset to nursing home, death
Date:11/7/2013

NEW YORK, NY (Nov. 7, 2013) A Columbia University Medical Center-led research team has clinically validated a new method for predicting time to full-time care, nursing home residence, or death for patients with Alzheimer's disease. The method, which uses data gathered from a single patient visit, is based on a complex model of Alzheimer's disease progression that the researchers developed by consecutively following two sets of Alzheimer's patients for 10 years each. The results were published online ahead of print in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

"Predicting Alzheimer's progression has been a challenge because the disease varies significantly from one person to anothertwo Alzheimer's patients may both appear to have mild forms of the disease, yet one may progress rapidly, while the other progresses much more slowly," said senior author Yaakov Stern, PhD, professor of neuropsychology (in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology and in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at CUMC. "Our method enables clinicians to predict the disease path with great specificity."

"Until now, some methods of predicting the course of Alzheimer's have required data not obtained in routine clinical practice, such as specific neuropsychological or other measurements, and have been relatively inaccurate. This method is more practical for routine use," said Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, a study co-author and associate professor of neurology, in the Taub Institute and the Sergievsky Center. "It may become a valuable tool for both physicians and patients' families."

The new method also may be used in clinical trialsto ensure that patient cohorts are balanced between those with faster-progressing Alzheimer's and those with slower-progressing diseaseand by health economists to predict the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease.

The prediction method is based on a Longit
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Contact: Elizabeth Streich
eas2125@cumc.columbia.edu
212-305-3689
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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