For the first time in at least a generation, medical experts have new criteria, a major change in the analytical guidelines for Alzheimer’s. The orders, which are expected to be adopted this fall to detect Alzheimer’s, would allow technology, such as brain scans, to be used to detect the disease as it is rising – even before clear memory problems or other warning signs appear.
Experts predict a major increase – perhaps a threefold jump – in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease as a result of the guidelines, according to a report in The New York Times. Around 5.3 million people now are diagnosed with the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association says. The new guidelines reflect the belief that the disease is at hand, years before dementia symptoms appear. They include criteria for three stages of the disease: preclinical disease, mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and, lastly, Alzheimer’s dementia.
Experts presented the guidelines at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Honolulu. A board of experts gathered by the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association met to develop the new approach.