Dementia: these signs that would be visible nine years before diagnosis

British scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to spot signs of brain impairment in patients up to nine years before the final clinical diagnosis is made. A step forward towards better care for patients with dementia.

Almost 82 million people may become victims of dementia in 2030, and 152 million in 2050, estimates the World Health Organization (WHO). This disease, which is very widespread and yet still little known, results in a deterioration of memory, behavioral and thought disorders or even difficulties in performing certain tasks in daily life. To improve its detection, British researchers from the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have just identified seven signs of cerebral deficiency that are visible up to nine years before the diagnosis of the disease. Findings that may enable the development of treatments that are more suitable for patients in the future.

What are the warning signs to warn?

There are currently very few effective treatments for dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease“, the University of Cambridge explains in the introduction in an article. Until now, researchers have not known whether it was possible to detect changes in brain function before the first symptoms appear. This is by analyzing the data from the Biobank, which contains information about the health and medical histories of 500,000 Britons aged 40 to 69, that scientists were able to observe seven warning signs of deficits in patients who years later developed a form of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s dementia.The domains are different: difficulty solving problems, remembering numbers and associating similar objects, poor reaction time, frequent falls, poorer health and finally loss of memories.

The benefits of early disease detection

For the authors of this study, these results give hope that patients at risk will be detected faster and easier to support them as effectively as possible. “We encourage anyone who has concerns or notices that their memory or memory is deteriorating to speak to their doctor“, urges Tim Rittman from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Furthermore, this could have a positive effect on the development of more targeted treatments.”The problem with clinical trials is that out of necessity we often recruit patients who already have a diagnosis, but we know that by this point it is already too late and their condition cannot be stopped. If we can find these people early enough, we’ll have a better chance of seeing if the drugs work.“, concluded Dr. Rittman.

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