There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Until recently, Alzheimer’s was primarily diagnosed after death. Today, researchers consistently seek to improve treatments that can slow the progression of the disease, but these treatments are made available only after detection of the disease has been accomplished.
While Alzheimer’s is known to have seven stages, the first and second stages are almost undetectable without testing. A new study shows that cognitive tests can show the earliest indicators of Alzheimer’s and should be embraced as preventive care for seniors. The study found that when a participant had beta-amyloid present in the brain they performed worse on tests of global cognitive function, including language, memory, processing speed and working memory.
Paul Aisen, senior author of the study and director of the University of Southern California’s Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI) at the Keck School of Medicine says: “To have the greatest impact on the disease, we need to intervene against amyloid, the basic molecular cause, as early as possible. This study is a significant step toward the idea that elevated amyloid levels are an early stage of Alzheimer’s, an appropriate stage for anti-amyloid therapy.” Read the full Alzheimers.net article HERE.
The Alzheimer’s Association is also in favor of early detection, which they report can:
- Improve access to medical and support services
- Reduce health care costs
- Allow for lifestyle changes that may slow the disease
- Provide more time for legal and financial planning
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