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New way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease promises earlier treatment
Date:9/17/2007

clinicians to a different focus than has been pursued over the last decade, he adds.

New diagnostic measures include a clinical core of early, progressive and significant episodic memory loss plus one or more abnormal biomarkers (biological indicators) characteristic of AD, including atrophy (wasting) of the temporal lobe as shown on Magnetic Resonance Imaging; abnormal amyloid Beta protein concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid; a specific pattern showing reduced glucose metabolism on Positron Emission Tomography scans of the brain; and a genetic mutation for AD within the immediate family.

AD is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration and is the most common form of dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates that the disease affects more than 238,000 Canadians and that by 2031 about 750,000 Canadians will suffer from AD and related dementias. Approximately $5.5 billion per year is spent caring for persons with AD and related dementias in Canada. The Alzheimers Association in the U.S. estimates there are approximately 500,000 Americans younger than 65 with Alzheimers or other dementia.

Validation studies are needed to further explore the criteria and improve their sensitivity, specificity and accuracy, say the researchers.


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Contact: Hilary Thomson
Hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
604-822-2644
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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