Scientists Want To Focus On Actual Brain Changes And Not Memory Loss As Way Of Defining Alzheimer’s
The change would be geared toward providing more objective research. It would also mean many more people will be considered to have Alzheimer's, because the biological signs can show up 15 to 20 years before symptoms do.
The Associated Press:
New Way Of Defining Alzheimer's Aims To Find Disease Sooner
Government and other scientists are proposing a new way to define Alzheimer's disease — basing it on biological signs, such as brain changes, rather than memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that are used today. The move is aimed at improving research, by using more objective criteria like brain scans to pick patients for studies and enroll them sooner in the course of their illness, when treatments may have more chance to help. (Marchione, 4/10)
Some Scientists Want Brain Changes, Not Symptoms, To Define Alzheimer's
Instead of defining the disease through symptoms like memory problems or fuzzy thinking, the scientists want to focus on biological changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's. These include the plaques and tangles that build up in the brains of people with the disease. But they say the new approach is intended only for research studies, and isn't yet ready for use by most doctors who treat Alzheimer's patients.If the new approach is widely adopted, it would help researchers study patients whose brain function is still normal, but are likely to develop dementia caused by Alzheimer's. (Hamilton, 4/10)