New Criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease

July 21, 2011 at 2:23 am Leave a comment

The criterion for diagnosing this illness has changed. It is now thought that this illness can actually start decades before it is diagnosed. The changes in the brain occur before Alzheimer’s becomes apparent. It is now believed that the disease has three stages. The first stage is called the preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. This is the time when there are changes occurring in the brain before symptoms occur. These might be the first symptoms for some patients. The second stage is mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’ disease, which is slight, changes in memory and thinking that are noticeable to other people. These changes do not affect normal everyday activity. The last stage is dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. This stage means life is completely impaired. Alzheimer’s is considered a progressive disorder. It is an illness that goes beyond memory loss. Even though the criteria have changed this does not offer much hope. The drugs are still the same. The only positive aspect of this is that maybe a new class of drugs can be developed which will be capable of destroying the protein responsible for brain damage. This protein is called the amyloid protein. If these drugs are developed we can then treat patients before they develop the symptoms of Alzheimer’s that we are aware of.

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Entry filed under: Alzheimer, Dementia.

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