Alzheimer's disease: the United States to revise their definition

Updated guidelines for the diagnosis

The United States rethink guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease to better integrate the acquired knowledge the most recent.

The United States is poised to revolutionize their approach to Alzheimer's disease. Groups of experts convened by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association USA made public Tuesday, April 19 at the Congress of Hawaii new guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. If these changes are adopted by the Ministry of Health of the United States, which could lead to multiply by two to three the number of people diagnosed.

The new guidelines define three stages of the disease: preclinical disease, mild cognitive impairment and, finally, dementia itself.

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The first (called pre-clinical) scanners and uses biomarkers to describe changes in the brain, beginning with the initial accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, which doctors believe they play a key role in neuronal death. In seeking to take into account the disease at an early stage, researchers want to incorporate the fact that it is now accepted that the disease starts a decade or more before the first signs of memory loss.
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The second phase corresponds to symptoms of mental illness as episodes of memory loss sufficiently obvious to be recorded and measured, but not pronounced enough to cause the loss of autonomy.
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The third and final phase of dementia is already described by medicine today.

The aim of this reform is to provide guidance to pharmaceutical research. More early diagnosis will become possible, the more it will be possible to search for drugs to stabilize the progression of the disease before symptoms of memory loss appear.

YM
updated on 26/04/2011

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