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Senior Health Week: Alzheimer's Disease
Health News You Can Use •

Alzheimer News:

Family Members Can Help in Diagnosis of Alzheimer's

Results of a new study suggest that comparing questionnaires from those suffering mild mental impairment to those filled out by close family members can help predict a future diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

Columbia University researchers, reporting in Neurology, said that family members may report signs of mild cognitive impairment that elderly patients are not aware exist.

Further analysis indicated when relatives reported more shortfalls in ability than the patient, the patient had a strong likelihood of progressing to Alzheimer's within two years.

By measuring functioning and daily living abilities, the researchers monitored patients with mild cognitive impairment every six months, and followed people without impairment at yearly intervals. Their findings then were weighed against reports from a family member capable of determining whether the patient could perform various tasks.

"These findings indicate that in patients with (mild cognitive impairment), the patient's lack of awareness of functional deficits identified by informants strongly predicts a future diagnosis of (Alzheimer's Disease)," the researchers concluded.

Source: Alzheimer Week of March 24, 2002


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