April 13, 2018

New way of defining Alzheimer’s aims to find disease sooner

By Karl W Oestreich

Minnesota Public Radio (AP)

Government and other scientists are proposing a new way to define Alzheimer's disease — basing it on biological signs, such as brain changes, rather than memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that are used today… "The numbers will increase dramatically," said Dr. Clifford R. Jack Jr., a Mayo Clinic brain imaging specialist. "There are a lot more cognitively normal people who have the pathology in the brain who will now be counted as having Alzheimer's disease."

Reach: Minnesota Public Radio operates 43 stations and serves virtually all of Minnesota and parts of the surrounding states. MPR has more than 100,000 members and more than 900,000 listeners each week, which is the largest audience of any regional public radio network.

Reuters, Researchers propose new Alzheimer's definition based on biology by Julie Steenhuysen — Alzheimer’s researchers have proposed a radical change in the way the disease is defined, focusing on biological changes in the body rather than clinical symptoms such as memory loss and cognitive decline… “Much of the general public views the terms dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as interchangeable, but they are not,” said Dr. Clifford Jack of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who helped craft the guidelines published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Voice of America, New Definition of Alzheimer’s Could Help Identify Disease Sooner — The new definition will have an important effect: Many more people will be considered to have Alzheimer’s because the biological signs can show up 15 to 20 years before other signs do. “The numbers will increase dramatically,” said Clifford R. Jack Junior of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He said, “There are a lot more cognitively normal people who have the pathology in the brain who will now be counted as having Alzheimer’s disease.” Jack is a brain imaging specialist. He led a group of experts who amended medical guidance on the disease. The group worked with the U.S. government’s National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit group.

Additional coverage: National Public Radio, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, KNAU Arizona Public Radio, Post-Bulletin, MedPage Today, Scientist, U.S. News & World Report, P&T Community, Columbus Dispatch, CBS News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wichita Eagle, Daily Star, KFGO Fargo-Moorhead, Star Tribune, Chicago Daily Herald

Context: Clifford Jack Jr, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic radiologist. Dr. Jack's research team is engaged in brain imaging research in cognitive aging, Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

Contact: Susan Barber Lindquist

Tags: alzheimer's disease, Dr. Clifford Jack Jr., Minnesota Public Radio, Uncategorized

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