Alzheimer’s risk can be detected 10 years before symptoms, study finds

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Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating neuro-degenerative disease associated with memory loss, dementia and the eventual loss of motor functions. Often it is hard for doctors to officially diagnose someone with the disease until it has extensively progressed. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, nearly 10 million people suffer from dementia in Europe alone, with Alzheimer’s accounting for the overwhelming majority of these cases. For years, scientists around the world have tried to come up with better treatments and a cure for the disease, but few have been shown to be particularly effective.

In a new scientific paper published in the January 1, 2012 edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry, a team of Swedish researchers have now shown that it’s possible to detect individuals with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s 10 years before they show any outward symptoms. If their technique proves successful, it could become an important tool for managing future Alzheimer’s patients.

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