Alzheimer's disease: Early Risks Assessment

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Alzheimer's disease appears to slowly damage the brain for many years prior to the appearance of clear symptoms. As such, we generally do not detect and diagnose AD until irreversible brain damage has occurred and memory loss and/or behavioral disturbances are pronounced. At that point, the extent of the underlying damage is severe and a return to full cognitive function is unlikely if not impossible.

With this view, we know that the best opportunity to intervene meaningfully is during the period prior to the manifestation of clear symptoms. To do so, we must improve our ability to evaluate early stage risks and to objectively identify subtly abnormal cognitive function at the individual level.

In recent months, experts in the fields of epidemiology, risk assessment, cognitive evaluation, imaging, and biomarker development have convened under the auspices of the National Alzheimer's Association to discuss a framework for improving early risk assessment. An overview of their discussions is published in the current issue of Alzheimer's and Dementia: Early Risk Assessment for Alzheimer's Disease. In this article, lead author Maria Carillo clearly outlines the state of the field and identifies those questions most germane to future progress.

No comments :

Post a Comment