The Most Immediate and Practical Use for an Alzheimer's Diagnostic Test

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Sometimes, a debate is framed in such a way that important perspectives are under-emphasized if not completely overlooked. I think this is the case in the spirited debate about if and when we should use biomarkers to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

I can understand that many young, healthy people would prefer not to know that Alzheimer's lurks with certainty in their future. That whole discussion is important but perhaps off-point. Here is what we should not overlook.

An increasing number of people are expressing memory complaints to physicians on a daily basis. Some are depressed, some have early stage AD, some have had a small stroke, some have a thyroid disorder, and among the others, many are perfectly healthy but correctly perceiving changes associated with their advancing age. It is the physician's job to accurately diagnose any underlying medical conditions and to treat them. In these cases, an accurate test for Alzheimer's disease has great value.

The published research in this area is clear. A great many AD patients go undiagnosed and untreated for many, destructive years as their doctors grapple with an uncertain diagnosis. Others are treated for Alzheimer's disease based on an educated guess, when in fact their true condition could have been more effectively (and perhaps less expensively) treated had the diagnosis been correct.

I do not suggest that we run out and test people with no symptoms of cognitive decline. I do suggest that a great many patients and their doctors will benefit enormously when a commercially viable diagnostic test for AD is available.
A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share buttons below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

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