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Study: Signs of dementia can be detected as early as 9 years before official diagnosis

Study: Signs of dementia can be detected as early as 9 years before official

Scientists have recently discovered that it is possible to distinguish the signs of dementia disease 9 years before the official diagnosis is made known to the patients. Researchers at the University of Cambridge published the study – funded by the Medical Research Council with support from the Cambridge Biomedical Research Center – in the journal Alzheimer & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Dr. Richard Okli, associate director of research at the Alzheimer's Association, said that the study's findings are very "important" and show that "for some people who develop Alzheimer's disease, problems with memory and thinking can begin as early as in 9 years before being officially diagnosed".

He added: "This opens up the possibility of future programs that could help identify people at risk who might benefit from interventions with other therapies.

The study's first author, Nol Suadiuudipong, said: "When we looked at the patients' histories, it became clear that they were showing some impairment of cognitive abilities several years before their symptoms became obvious enough to reach a diagnosis." .

"Through this step, we may be able to screen people who are most at risk. For example, people over 50 who suffer from high blood pressure or who do not do enough physical exercise, and to intervene at an early stage to help them reduce their risk" – he said.

In this study, researchers analyzed data from Biobank in the UK and found impairments in several areas, such as problem solving and number recall, years before patients received a formal diagnosis. Currently, dementia has very few effective treatments.

Ekspertët thonë se kjo ndodh pjesërisht sepse gjendja diagnostikohet shpeshherë vetëm pasi shfaqen simptomat, ndërsa problemet bazë mund të ketë filluar vite apo edhe dekada më parë.Kjo do të thotë se në kohën kur pacientët marrin pjesë në provat klinike, mund të jetë tashmë tepër vonë që të ndryshohet rrjedha e sëmundjes.

Përveç mbledhjes së informacionit mbi shëndetin dhe diagnozat e sëmundjeve, studiuesit mblodhën të dhëna nga një sërë testesh, përfshirë zgjidhjen e problemeve, kujtesën, kohën e reagimit dhe forcën e kapjes së duarve, të dhëna për humbjen dhe shtimin në peshë, si dhe për numrin e rrëzimeve të përjetuara.

This allowed the researchers to see if any signs were present early on, when measurements were first collected between 5-9 before the official diagnosis. People with late-onset Alzheimer's disease scored worse than healthy individuals when it came to problem-solving tasks, reaction time, recall of lists of numbers, and memory. The study found they were also more likely than healthy adults to have a decline in cognitive abilities in the previous 12 months.

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