Alzheimer's: Early Detection, Risk Factors are Crucial
August 15, 2011
Recent research on Alzheimer’s disease places a growing emphasis on early detection. Studies suggests that the best targets for exploring treatments are patients who do not have full-blown Alzheimer's disease, but experience mild symptoms.
Signs of Alzheimer's may develop in the brain 10 to 20 years before symptoms begin. Research on biomarkers and mild cognitive impairment could be important in coming up with better treatments. Another area of focus is identifying risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, such as physical inactivity, depression, and smoking. Midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, low education, and diabetes are other risk factors.
According to CNN:
“Two of the biggest obstacles to finding treatments for Alzheimer's disease are lack of money and difficulty enrolling people in clinical trials, experts say. The United States spends $450 million each year in Alzheimer's research money, compared to $6 billion for cancer, $4 billion for heart disease and $3 billion for HIV/AIDS research.”