Early Detection of Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There a Better Way?
Software, that compares a patient’s brain scan with the results of 1,200 other people with Alzheimer’s disease, was recently developed by researchers at the National Health Service in the U.K.. This software is 85% accurate for detecting the early signs of dementia due to Alzheimer’s. Earlier detection of Alzheimer’s may soon be a reality. Families can get the answers they need and this will also facilitate earlier treatment.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is only definitively made at autopsy, and is often misdiagnosed. In fact, when a group of researchers autopsied the brains of 426 Japanese-Americans who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease while living, they found that half of them lacked enough evidence at autopsy to say they had the disease.
Other medical conditions mimic Alzheimer’s disease. Normal pressure hydrocephalus, B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, tumors, depression, the effects of medications and other forms of dementia have all been diagnosed as Alzheimer’s. Some of these conditions are treatable so an accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is of the utmost importance.