Cognitive tests can help predict risk of Alzheimer’s disease 18 years before symptoms appear


Occasional forgetfulness and disorientation, leading to progressive memory loss and personality changes are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This neurodegenerative disorder can neither be reversed nor cured. It affects nearly 44 million people worldwide and around 1% of the world’s GDP is spent on caring for patients affected by AD.

Research funding for studying the biological basis of this disease has seen a huge increase over the last 30 years. Yet, many key questions remain unanswered, such as why this disease cannot be cured and why it progresses at different rates in different people.

Symptoms of AD manifest themselves well before they are definitive enough for diagnosis. But how early do they appear?

A team of scientists and clinicians from Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, USA, used simple memory tests to see if brain function impairment can occur before detectable AD symptoms can manifest. Senior citizens aged 65 and above…

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