So You Forgot Where You Put Your Glasses AGAIN? Relax, You Probably Don't Have Alzheimer's

Memory loss is not enough for a diagnosis of the dreaded disease.

Relying on clinical symptoms of memory loss to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease may miss other forms of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s that don’t initially affect memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study, according to

“These individuals are often overlooked in clinical trial designs and are missing out on opportunities to participate in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer’s,” says first study author Emily Rogalski, associate professor at Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Now here's the truly scary part. There is more than one kind of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s can cause language problems, disrupt an individual’s behavior, personality and judgment or even affect someone’s concept of where objects are in space.

If it affects personality, it may cause lack of inhibition. “Someone who was very shy may go up to grocery store clerk -- who is a stranger -- and try to give her a hug or kiss,” Rogalski says.

This all depends on what part of the brain it attacks. A definitive diagnosis can only be achieved with an autopsy. Emerging evidence suggests an amyloid PET scan, an imaging test that tracks the presence of amyloid -- an abnormal protein whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s -- may be used during life to determine the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

In the past it was thought the disease could only be diagnosed at death, after an autopsy of the brain.

Who hasn't been there?  I've lost track of the times I've lost my glasses, or my wallet (4 times in the last 2 years),  or my keys. 

The study demonstrates that knowing an individual’s clinical symptoms isn’t sufficient to determine whether someone has PPA due to Alzheimer’s disease or another type of neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, biomarkers, such as amyloid PET imaging, are necessary to identify the neuropathological cause, the authors said.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Did You Know Emojis Could Do THAT?