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Alzheimer's researchers suggest radical change based on biology

This will allow companies to test drugs in people way before symptoms appear and would offer a better chance of intervention before the disease has spread its wings.


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  • This will allow companies to test drugs in people way before symptoms appear and would offer a better chance of intervention before the disease has spread its wings.(Image Credit: Youtube)

Alzheimer's researchers have suggested a radical change in the way the disease is defined, focusing on biological changes in the body rather than clinical symptoms such as memory loss and cognitive decline.

According to the framework released recently by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging, is meant to provide scientists with a common language for describing the disease in research studies based on measurable changes in the brain that set Alzheimer's apart from other causes of dementia.

According to Dr. Clifford Jack, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota who was behind the crafting of  guidelines published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia,” Much of the general public views the terms dementia and Alzheimer's disease as interchangeable, but they are not.”

The changes were announced this year by US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to elevate the testing of new Alzheimer's medicines based on biomarkers not on clinical symptoms.

This will allow companies to test drugs in people way before symptoms appear and would offer a better chance of intervention before the disease has spread its wings.

As part of the research framework, Alzheimer’s will be characterized with respect to three factor:

Presence of two abnormal proteins associated with Alzheimer’s- beta-amyloid and tau and evidence of neurodegeneration or nerve cell death, all of which can be seen through brain imaging or tests of cerebral spinal fluid. It also incorporates measures of severity using biomarkers and a grading system for cognitive impairment.  

 

(With inputs from Reuters)

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