New Guidelines Help Find Alzheimer's Earlier

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Alzheimer's disease affects millions of people worldwide; it's often a disease that is undetectable until it's too late. However, a new set of national guidelines are being released that will help catch signs of the disease earlier. David Shenk, author of "The Forgetting: Alzheimer's, Portrait of an Epidemic," explains the latest guidelines.

The guidelines concern methods that assess brain changes including brain scans, tests of cerebral spinal fluid and other biomarkers. The ability to find markers means more research into the possibility of developing drugs to combat Alzheimer's.


David Shenk

Produced by:

Leo Duran and Sitara Nieves

Comments [6]

Elva M. Huizar from Los Angeles CA

My brother started 4 yr ago with the alzheimer's when he had an altercation with his supervisor. they took him to the hospital, but never saw a doctor again. A month ago
I saw on his left hand the same reaction as
alzheimer's. Since he is 63 yr. All my family
plan to advise and be careful since there no
cure. The bottom line it starting on angry
moments while staff at work wanted employees to drop death.

Apr. 19 2011 10:36 AM
Miriam Colwell from Westwood NJ

I don't think I would want to know. I sure as hell wouldn't want the insurance companies to know. Early screening and diagnosis sounds like a great way for insurance companies to expand the field of "pre-existing conditions." Would anyone who forgot their keys or had a "senior moment" be compelled to be tested so that insurance companies could deny coverage?

Apr. 19 2011 10:34 AM
eif from MA

Nope, i don't want to know, at age 56, if i show early signs of a new stigma doctors like to call Alzheimers (which my dad and all his siblings were named with). First, the docs will strip me of any dignity and agency that I currently (imagine that I) have; next they'll push deadly drugs on me with threats if I refuse; then, finally, they'll drop me into an institution where smoldering, angry low paid workers shove food down my throat and scold me for peeing my pants. No, thanks.

Apr. 19 2011 10:11 AM
Eric Behr

My wife had the spinal test. Her mother's in a nursing home and totally gone, and my wife wants to know. Me: not in a million years

Apr. 19 2011 09:44 AM

I'm 61 and yes I'd like to know if I had early indicators of Alzheimer's. This would definitely help me and my family plan for the future.

Apr. 19 2011 08:53 AM
samantha from MA

I would want to know if i was going to have alzheimer's so I could plan for my future better and also to enjoy things more and not get caught up in the day to day stuff.

Apr. 19 2011 07:24 AM

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