Test Spots Alzheimer's Decades Before Start of Symptoms
Brain starts to change many years before problems surface
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2012 3:34 AM CST
Brain scans spotted telltale signs of the disease.   (National Institutes of Health)

(Newser) – Researchers have spotted very early signs of Alzheimer's disease in patients decades before symptoms usually appear, raising hopes that the disease can be treated before the brain degenerates badly, the BBC reports. Tests on people in their 20s destined to develop the inherited, early-onset form of the disease revealed telltale changes in the brain and spinal fluid. Researchers now hope to develop tests that can predict future Alzheimer's sufferers in the general population.

Early treatment is vital to prevent damage to memory and thinking, but many patients have already lost a fifth of their brain cells by the time symptoms appear. "These findings suggest that brain changes begin many years before the clinical onset of Alzheimer's disease," one of the researchers says. "They raise new questions about the earliest brain changes involved in the predisposition to Alzheimer's and the extent to which they could be targeted by future prevention therapies."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Nov 6, 2012 12:46 PM CST
I am most definitely going to get tested to see if I might be susceptible to this terrible disease. In fact I remember my grandfather once...he once, uh... what was I writing about?
Nov 6, 2012 9:48 AM CST
I gotta make a mental note to take this test one of these days.
Nov 6, 2012 6:40 AM CST
If any of you have friends or family with Alzheimer's, you owe it to them and yourselves to check out coconut oil. A lady doctor's husband had Alzheimer's so bad he literally could not function. After weeks of adding coconut oil to his diet, his symptoms retreated to the point he was able to go off on his own to golf. The linked two-part video is 20 minutes long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iScs0uzQZFk http://www.amazon.com/Alzheimers-Disease-What-There-Cure/dp/1591202930/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352205234&sr=8-1&keywords=Dr.+Newport+coconut