A small study has taken place in Canada, with recent news claiming the tests carried out could accurately predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease up to two years earlier than is currently possible. This type of test is not new to the scientific community, and as it was only carried out with a small group of people, the study was too small for the findings to be medically significant. However, it could lead to larger studies taking place in the future which could positively benefit dementia research.
Small scale study
The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, was carried out with 45 people suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 20 healthy people, with both groups studied over a two year period. The results showed that memory difficulties and thinning of the part of the brain which deals with thinking and emotional processing could predict with 87.5% accuracy which patients with MCI would go on to develop Alzheimer’s Disease.
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is vital so that drug treatment to slow the condition can start as soon as possible – in many cases symptoms can take years to develop and are not spotted at the onset. Hopefully, with more studies like this carried out in future, the possibility of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease earlier could become a reality.