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Researchers seek reliable test for Alzheimer’s disease risk

Published on March 21st, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most puzzling and damaging diseases that commonly affects people. Put simply, the ailment destroys brain tissue. Within a matter of years, a person can go from a state of strong mental health to experiencing severe cognitive deficiencies. Of course, this disease is devastating for those with the condition and their loved ones.

According to a report published by the Chicago Tribune, medical professionals and researchers are often frustrated by the fact that there’s no reliable test to detect Alzheimer’s disease precursors or while it’s in the early stages. Without these diagnostic tools available, developing and administering treatment can be difficult.

As individuals deal with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, they will have to make many life adjustments. Namely, securing income can be difficult. For those who rely on a job to make ends meet, including senior citizens, being rendered unable to work can create serious challenges. In this situation, it may be possible to apply for Social Security disability benefits. This financial support can be administered after an individual submits a claim with enough medical evidence to receive approval.

In positive news, researchers recently completed a study that could provide some promise in detecting Alzheimer’s. The study found that people who developed the condition lacked 10 different molecules in their blood at least three years before they began experiencing symptoms of the disease.

Of course, caution is being exercised over the results of this study, because it’s not definitive. At this point, researchers do not understand the connection between Alzheimer’s and the molecules that were missing from the patients’ blood. Regardless, this kind of test could eventually prove helpful in preparing for and treating the condition.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Diagnosing dementia: This is not spinal tap,” March 21, 2014

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