Alzheimer's Diagnostic Guidelines Updated

Posted on April 19, 2011

Alzheimer's diagnostic guidelines have been updated for first time in decades. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the new guidelines reflect a deeper understanding of Alzheimer's.

The updated guidelines describe the earliest preclinical stages of the disease, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia due to Alzheimer's pathology. The guidelines also now address the use of imaging and biomarkers in blood and spinal fluid that may help determine whether changes in the brain and those in body fluids are due to Alzheimer's disease.

The new guidelines include three distince stages of Alzheimer's disease: Preclinical, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Dementia. There may not be any significant clinical symptoms in the Preclinical phase, but amyloid buildup can be detected.

These stages are not the same as the seven-stage framework developed by Barry Reisberg, M.D., clinical director of the New York University School of Medicine's Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center.

Here is a recent video that shows the growing number of people suffering from Alzheimer's. Another significant aspect of the disease is the serious impact it has on caregivers. Take a look:

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