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Several methods for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease developed by European scientists
Date:6/14/2011

icians, compares patient measurements with measurements of other patients in large databases and provides at the end an index and graphical representation reflecting the state of the patient. "The PredictAD tool provides a new option to support decision making", says Prof. Hilkka Soininen from the University of Eastern Finland, leading the clinical validation of the project.

Possibilities for significant savings in health costs

Prof. Gunhild Waldemar from Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet emphasises the importance of the Alzheimer's disease research: "Successful, early diagnostics combined with the novel drugs under development and early psychosocial care may delay the institutionalisation of patients, reducing suffering and the costs to the society. It has been calculated that delaying the onset of the disease by five years would halve all costs of Alzheimer's disease and delaying onset and progression by only one year would reduce the number of Alzheimer's cases by about 10%."

"Diagnostic companies like GE Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in this area. Commercialisation of the results is already ongoing in PredictAD", says Dr Lennart Thurfjell from GE Healthcare Ltd leading the activities of dissemination and exploitation.

Dementia has been recently identified as a health priority both in Europe and in the USA. Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, alone accounts for costs equivalent to about 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the whole world and the number of persons affected will double in the next 20 years. Early diagnostics plays a key role in solving the problem because treatments of this irreversible disease should be started in an early phase to be efficient. Various treatments are currently under extensive development. So far, the lack of systematic and objective ways to identify persons for treatments has been apparent.

With a consortium
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Contact: Jyrki Ltjnen
jyrki.lotjonen@vtt.fi
358-207-223-378
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Source:Eurekalert

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