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Alzheimer’s Exists In The Brain Prior To Symptoms, Study Finds

Alzheimer's Disease

Scientists believe that Alzheimer’s may be present in the brain before symptoms present themselves, according to a new study.

Present findings pooled from the Alzheimer’s Association suggest that 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease right now and over 5 million Americans afflicted with the disease are age 65 and over with the remaining 200,000 individuals under the age 65.

Two-thirds of sufferers are female and one in every three senior citizens dies with the condition. The disease is also the sixth leading cause of death amongst Americans. An American is diagnosed with the disease approximately every minute, Business Standard indicated in a report.

The investigation, led by Indiana University, reveals that a genetic variant linked to the disease appears to deposit plaque in the brain before a person experiences any symptoms. The study took into account people with “significant memory concerns.” Such people reported regular slips of memory but tested negative when exposed to conventional Alzheimer’s testing methods.

Alzheimer’s researchers have dubbed such groups, “subjective cognitive decline” groups. The team studied 600 individuals, comparing those diagnosed with the disease with those who had not. The study’s researchers found that those who had not been diagnosed had Alzheimer’s-like pathologies in the brain, including a build up of amyloid plaque and increased tau levels.

The study’s findings have been published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Medical News Today reports that alterations in spinal fluid during middle age may also serve as a warning to the development of the disease. The study, from Washington University, St Louis, reveals that certain biomarkers may predict the onslaught of the condition. The findings may enable potential Alzheimer’s sufferers to be treated before the condition develops.

An unrelated study recently found that symptoms of the disease show up 18 years before diagnosis.

In further developments into the nature of the disease, co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist Paul Allen are attacking the disease head on with a sum of $7 million, Forbes reports. The Paul G Allen Family Foundation has spread the sum across five research teams who are exploring the degenerative brain disease which leads to memory loss and confusion. Allen has a personal connection to the disease as his mother was a sufferer.

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