News: Alzheimer’s detected years before symptoms

Alzheimer’s is a scary disease’one that creeps up without warning, making it difficult to treat. But a new study might

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Alzheimer’s is a scary disease’one that creeps up without warning, making it difficult to treat.

But a new study might give people the extra time they need to be treated for the debilitating disorder.

The study, published in The Lancet Neurology, found that young adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s show signs of the disease years before they actually experience symptoms.

Two groups of 18 to 26-year-olds in Columbia’one with brain mutations that predispose Alzheimer’s, and one without susceptibility to the disease’were given brain scans and cognitive assessments. Researchers were able to detect a difference in the brains of the two groups using automated brain mapping algorithms that search regions related to Alzheimer’s disease.

This is great news for doctors, who’ll have the opportunity to treat patients before the brain begins to degenerate.

“The key thing this does is open up the window of early intervention before people take a clinical and cognitive hit,’ Professor Nick Fox from the Institute of Neurology at University College London told the BBC.

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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