Over the weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on researchers' quest to identify Alzheimer's disease "long before people show the classic signs of memory loss and confusion." There is currently no one diagnostic test for the disease, and writer Erin Allday discusses why early detection is so important:
"Many (researchers) believe... studies [of potential drug treatments] may have failed because we started treating people too late," [UCSF's Adam Boxer, MD, PhD] said. "The majority of people in studies have full-blown Alzheimer's disease, and it's a tall order to get treatments to work in these people. It's hoped that by developing biomarkers, we could find it much earlier."
Allday's article highlights work being done in the Bay Area, including a Stanford study of a diagnostic test that could make early detection possible. Researchers here are currently looking for volunteers for the study.