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Science & Tech: Alzheimer's App Could Be Key For Newly

SCIENCE & TECH: Alzheimer’s app could be key for newly diagnosed patients

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Personalized prognoses for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease soon may only be a click away.

Researchers at Amsterdam University Medical Center say they have developed a prototype app based on their model that forecasts an Alzheimer’s patient’s projected mental decline over five years.

The model is inspired by details gathered from nearly 1,000 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia. The data includes age, gender and cognitive test scores, as well as information from MRI scans and markers of disease activity found in cerebrospinal fluid.

“It gives a prediction that is really tailored to each individual person,” Pieter van der Veere, a physician-researcher at Alzheimer Centre Amsterdam, said about the model.

The next step is to develop a user-friendly app drawing upon feedback from patients, family members and professionals.  Halfpoint – stock.adobe.com

A prototype of the app is being used for scientific research. The next step is to develop a user-friendly app drawing upon feedback from patients, family members and professionals. 

The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, a number projected to grow to 14 million people by 2060.

Most patients are 65 or older.

About 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, a number projected to grow to 14 million people by 2060. andrey – stock.adobe.com

Upon diagnosis, the first question many people ask is, “What can I expect now?” Though the model doesn’t provide an absolute answer, it’s said to predict the course of the disease over five years.

“Previous research shows that people still want information about their prognosis, even if this information is uncertain. An app with our prediction model can therefore meet an important need,” van der Veere said.

Wiesje van der Flier, research director at Alzheimer Centre Amsterdam, said that the model can explain potential outcomes of treatment options like lifestyle changes and medication use.

“This can be a starting point for conversations between doctor, patient and family about the pros and cons of treatments, so that they can come to an appropriate decision together,” she said.

There is no cure for dementia, but medications can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Upon diagnosis, the first question many Alzheimer’s patients ask is, “What can I expect now?” Malik E/peopleimages.com – stock.adobe.com

Just last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Eli Lilly’s donanemab, a monthly injection for adults with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s.

Sold under the brand name Kisunla, the drug is supposed to slow cognitive decline by removing protein clumps in the brain.

Meanwhile, scientists in the UK recently touted a novel test they say can predict the onset of dementia up to nine years before an official diagnosis is made.



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