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Progress Reported in Predicting Alzheimer's
Date:1/19/2011

s also found that people with higher levels of "cognitive reserve" -- such as those with higher levels of education and literacy -- seemed to be buffered against dementia, said the study's lead author, Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

"The fascinating implication is that if you identify those at risk, maybe you could do something like cognitive stimulation to mitigate the risk," she said.

For now, though, "the markers reported here are far too unspecific to distinguish between people who will and will not get the disease," said Dr. Monique M.B. Breteler, an epidemiologist with University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands who wrote an accompanying commentary. "The importance of this paper is that it shows that there are detectable signals in blood that are related to the later development of the disease."

As for cost, Porsteinsson said the expense of the blood tests may go down. As to the other study, "the cost for the PET scans will always be pretty high because you've got to have such expensive tools."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more on Alzheimer's disease.

SOURCES: Anton P. Porsteinsson, M.D., professor, psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, N.Y.; Kristine Yaffe, M.D., endowed chair in psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, and chief, geriatric psychiatry, San Francisco VA Medical Center; Monique M.B. Breteler, M.D., Ph.D., head, neuroepidemiology section, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Jan. 19, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


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