Alzheimer’s Definition, New Interpretation Broadens Scope Of Disease
The Alzheimer’s definition received a new definition earlier this month by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute of Aging (NIA). The new definition increases dramatically the number of people considered to have the disease.
Alzheimer’s Definition: Change In Scope
The new definition includes those who not only display measurable brain changes, but also show outward signs of memory loss and behavioral symptoms. The change in definition, recognizes that this disease may begin decades before those outward signs of decline appear.
This new definition of Alzheimer’s was published earlier this month in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s Definition: Why Now?
According to researchers, biomarker evidence of disease indicates the presence of the illness whether or not symptoms are present. This is similar to diabetes where abnormal tests results may indicate disease, even though no physical symptoms can be seen.
This approach also is used to define bone mineral density, hypertension and other conditions.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Rolls Will Increase
The definition change will increase the number of actual diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients. This will increase the burden on Medicare and insurance companies. But, treatment and safety of Seniors, comes first.
On the positive side, thinking of this disease in a new way could speed the development of drugs and other treatments. The disease process and the sequence of events that occur before cognitive impairment will be better understood.
For now, the new definition is intended only for use by researchers in clinical, observational and natural history studies, not for clinicians.
The Grand HealthCare and Rehabilitation Center is staffed with experienced and professional caregivers and nurses to care for Alzheimer’s patients.