Early Detection of Alzheimers Could Lessen the Impact
Incidence of Alzheimers Disease is expected to increase as the population of elderly grows. Early diagnosis and treatment will be the key to lessening the diseases worst effects, but, how to spot the disease before its symptoms become serious (and harm is already done) is a challenge for health professionals. A new study by psychologists Konstantine K. Zakzanis, Ph.D., and Mark Boulos, B.Sc., of the University of Toronto has determined that the best predictor of future Alzheimers type dementia is a verbal memory test. Their study will be presented in Chicago at the 110th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA).
In a meta-analysis of 31 studies amounting to 1,144 Alzheimers patients and 6,046 healthy controls, Zakzanis and Boulos looked at both neuropsychological and neuroimaging tests to determine their ability to detect preclinical dementia and/or Alzheimers disease. They also paired a genetic susceptibility (presence of the ApoE gene) to dementia/Alzheimers with results on both neuropsychological and neuroanatomic tests again attempting to identify which types of tests would prove most accurate in identifying preclinical disease in patients with the ApoE gene.
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