6 Future Tests That Could Help With Earlier Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the condition is already fairly advanced and treatment can offer little in the way of slowing down the progression. At this point, treatment only makes the patient more comfortable. Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease before it becomes too advanced would allow doctors to aggressively treat the disease which would hopefully slow down its progression and preserve the patient's quality of life. According to the Alzheimer's Association, researchers are currently working on a variety of tests which they hope will allow earlier diagnosis of the disease and help to reverse or slow down its progression. Biomarkers Researchers are looking into potential biological markers (or biomarkers) for Alzheimer's disease which could show that a person is in the very early stages of the disease or is more at risk of developing the disease. To date, there are no determined biomarkers but scientists have been studying the levels of beta-amyloid and tau in cerebrospinal fluid. Brain Scans Brain scans can also show the levels of these proteins along with any changes that have occurred. However, because many people have amyloid plaques in their brains (but show no symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease), it doesn't mean that they have Alzheimer's or are more likely to develop the disease. MRI, PET, and CT scans can show the development of the disease and highlight areas of damage. Things that doctors could look for include size of the brain, as the brain shrinks in Alzheimer's patients; activity, since certain areas of the brain will not be as active in a p
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