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AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Study Predicts Most People with Earliest Alzheimer’s Signs Won’t Develop Dementia Associated with the Disease

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researchers determine risks based on age, gender and biomarker screening

 

During the past decade, researchers have identified new ways to detect the earliest biological signs of Alzheimer’s disease. These early signs, which are detected by biomarkers, may be present before a person starts to exhibit physical symptoms. What biomarker screening doesn’t reveal, however, is how likely it is that a person who tests positive will eventually develop the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s where the new predictions from researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health may be helpful. The authors lay out the probabilities that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease dementia based on age, gender and the results of biomarker tests, which can detect the presence of certain protein fragments in brain and spinal fluid or brain cell changes linked with the disease. The estimates show that most people with preclinical signs of Alzheimer’s disease dementia will not develop the full-scale disease.

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