International Alzheimer’s disease experts are proposing new criteria for diagnosing dementia at an earlier stage, which in turn would get more patients into drug trials or on treatments, Medscape Today reported.
Operating under the name International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, the experts released a position paper online, which will also appear in the November issue of Lancet Neurology, which details their stance on a revised definition of Alzheimer’s.
“The recent advances in use of reliable biomarkers of [Alzehimer’s] that provide in-vivo evidence of the disease has stimulated the development of new research criteria that reconceptualise the diagnosis around both a specific pattern of cognitive changes and structural/biological evidence of Alzheimer's pathology,” the experts wrote.
If Alzheimer’s is redefined as a biological syndrome, earlier diagnosis and treatment could be made based on such biomarkers.
“To meet these new criteria for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, patients would not necessarily have clinical symptoms of dementia, but would have episodic memory impairment together with at least one positive biomarker shown on a brain scan or in test called a cerebrospinal fluid analysis,” Reuters reported.