The most striking addition to the guidelines concerns methods that assess brain changes, including brain scans and tests of cerebral spinal fluid. These methods measure biomarkers, the physiological indicators that someone is likely to develop dementia eventually, just as cholesterol and blood pressure are biomarkers of impending heart disease.
Unfortunately, this information will not affect general medical practice yet. However, they could be used with patients enrolled in clinical trials because scientists cannot yet standardize the test results.
The importance of this new information, according to Dr. Pierre Tariot, director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, is that we understand the disease to be a very long process. “The notion that Alzheimer’s disease is a continuum that has an extensive pre-symptomatic phase is a very important message to get out.”
If you or a loved one are coping with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, please visit our website for our Alzheimer’s Resource Guide, which lists the latest breakthroughs in treatment and care of the Alzheimer’s patient. You may also be interested in attending one of our free Trust, Estate & Asset Protection workshops to learn how best to protect yourself, your spouse, your home, and your life-savings from the high costs of long-term medical care, nursing homes, avoidable taxes, and the delays of probate.