Test could detect Alzheimer’s decades before it develops
A simple memory test could very well predict if a person is going to have Alzheimer’s disease in their future, this according to a study that expanded from a period of 18 years by the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
The results of this study were recently published and it is opening a brand new insight on the way that Alzheimer’s disease could be diagnosed in the future. According to the research team in charge, since the main problem diagnosing Alzheimer’s is that it is an elusive disease as it attacks the brain several years before it can be properly diagnosed, this test can open a brand new window of opportunities on how we understand the disease. This could very well start a new way we approach the condition in the future.
All over the world there are 44 million people that suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, and more and more people are diagnosed everyday, but there are still millions that are starting to suffer from the conditions and are not aware of it yet. That’s why it is crucial to develop a faster way to diagnose the condition.
The mechanics of the study was to apply the test to a group of 2,125 people in the Chicago area that had not being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The participants of the study had an average of 73 years of age. Every three years for 18 years, the patients were given through several memory tests. The research team then gathered the information of those patients who scored the lowest tests and monitored their development. In total some 85% of the people who scored low on the tests constantly, developed dementia.
The importance of this particular test, according to lead researcher Kumar B Rajan, is that since that Alzheimer’s is an incurable condition, knowing that it will allow for the patient and their loved ones to take the necessary precautions before the condition worsens, as they will have enough time to prepare for the future.
The results of the study have also provides some interesting and worth noting information for future studies. According to the test, women and people from racial minorities were the most at risk of developing dementia. The reason on why this disparity occurs is unclear, also researchers in charge of this study have noted that it is still not possible to foresee how the mental deterioration will play out for an individual Alzheimer’s patient, their test did offer quite a large percentage of effectiveness of predicting people who were the most at risk of developing dementia.
Besides this study, there are many other promising developments from other researches all over the world to help treat and hopefully cure this disease. From possible treatments that could slow down the effects or prevent the disease from forming. Even though dementia is a harsh and difficult disease, according to experts there are enough reasons to remain positive for the upcoming future.