Familial Alzheimer’s Patients May Show Atypical Symptoms, Study Reports

Familial Alzheimer’s Patients May Show Atypical Symptoms, Study Reports
Patients with inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease have neurological symptoms other than memory loss, suggesting that physicians need watch for less typical symptoms when suspecting familial Alzheimer’s in a patient. While the study also found atypical symptoms can differ among patient groups, a comment suggested that such differences partly reflect the large variability in how this disease affects people. A better understanding of the reasons for these differences would benefit patients with familial Alzheimer’s, and likely those with sporadic forms of the disease too. The study, "Neurological manifestations of autosomal dominant familial Alzheimer's disease: a comparison of the published literature with the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network observational study (DIAN-OBS)" appeared in the journal The Lancet Neurology. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine first explored published data on neurological symptoms other than memory loss in patients with dominantly inherited familial Alzheimer’s disease, and noted relatively frequent reports of atypical symptoms. Many the published studies were small, however, and included patients with widely varying disease severity. To get a better picture of how common such problems are, the research team turned to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network observational study (DIAN-OBS). They selected 107 patients, from the U.S., Europe, and Australia, who were followed in this study between Feb. 29, 2008, and July 1,
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