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Published on: December 7, 2013
by Nigel Atkins for Mirror:
A test has been developed which can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s two years earlier than previously.
And a team at the University of Montreal, Canada, said it was 90% accurate.
Currently the disease is often diagnosed late in its development and sometimes up to ten years after the first pathological changes have affected the brain.
A challenge for doctors has been to provide earlier diagnosis so that patients can receive treatment as early as possible.
Prof Sylvie Belleville said: “When used individually, neuroimaging and neuropsychology are effective but only up to a certain point.
“It is when combining and analysing the results from both methods that we could achieve such an exceptional level of accuracy.
“For the moment, we can’t diagnose this disease very early due to the lack of reliable protocols. Thus, there is a risk of erronously identifying the disease when trying to diagnose it too early.
“The innovation here is showing that two different approaches can be combined to aid in diagnosis.
“The clinical benefits of these extra two years are enormous.
“We can now evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies on the outcome of a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in people identified with these tools.
“We could assess whether these treatments are more effective when administered earlier.”
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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