According to an expert, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is not as low as scientists previously believed. It is even twice as big. An Alzheimer’s researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Dr. Clifford Jack, said that some signs of disease are symptomless and many sufferers already have them.
Currently, a doctor would not diagnose a patient with the memory-robbing disorder until they show physical signs of Alzheimer’s.
However, in a study that was conducted by Dr. Jack and a team of colleagues, 2,500 people were analyzed, and it seems like twice as many had biological signs of the brain disease even though they would not show symptoms.
If the way Alzheimer’s is diagnosed is changed, doctors could be helped by that in order to improve treatments and spot it earlier, based on what Dr. Jack said. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and around 5.8million Americans and 527,000 people in the UK are thought to be affected.
Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent than initially believed
The cause of Alzheimer’s seems to be the build-up in the brain of proteins such as tau and amyloid. This build-up causes irreversible nerve damage, and patients are left with communication, movement, and memory problems, ending up being fatal eventually.
The outlook of a patient and millions more could be helped if these early signs of the build-up could be seen by doctors and diagnose people before they suffer from noticeable dementia.
Dr. Jack told The Telegraph: “The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease are all based on… the question ‘do you have dementia?’ Classically defined Alzheimer’s undercounts people who have the pathology but do not have symptoms.”
Many people that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease do not show symptoms right away which means that the condition is only in an early phase, which means that doctors can intervene and avoid it developing.