Sunday, November 11, 2012

Detect Dementia 20 Years In Advance!

If someone in your family has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may even at a young age, already be worrying if this is going to happen to you. Whether you want to know the truth ahead of time is another decision all together, but it seems as though science will be offering you that option relatively soon.

The research team from the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, studied 44 people aged between 18 and 26, half of which carried a gene mutation which causes the disease. The team found these people had structural differences in parts of the brain and larger quantities of protein in their cerebrospinal fluid than people without the gene mutation, even before they showed signs of memory problems, or plaques in the brain associated with the disease. It appeared that changes in the brain and substances in the fluid surrounding the spinal column can be found in people who will develop inherited Azheimer’s disease decades before symptoms will develop. When caught this early on, drugs designed to halt the progression of the condition are likely to be more effective than once memory problems have taken hold, the researchers said.

[The findings], “They raise new questions about the earliest brain changes involved in the predisposition to Alzheimer’s and the extent to which they could be targeted by future prevention therapies,” said David Cameron, who also announced that a series of clinics will be established to use brain scans and memory tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier. This could cause a significant decrease in the severity of people’s dementia, and increase the quality of life for an extended period of time. Not only that, but it gives time to prepare for the future, before you are unable to do so, if the disease reaches that point for you even with preventative measures. We can’t wait to hear more about these clinics and where we can utilize the preventative testing.